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WCAG Conformance Requirements

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 13:37:55 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
This is not an attempt to start a discussion about what a
conformance scheme should look like.  :)

This is, however, a request to solicit input on what qualities
a conformance scheme for WCAG 2.0 should possess.  Since I have
complained the loudest about the WCAG 1.0 conformance scheme, I
feel a duty to work on suggesting an alternative.  Rather than
just create it myself, I think it would be good for us to 
identify our objectives and goals which we would like to see
any proposed conformance scheme measure up to.

Therefore, if you have thoughts on what you believe should be in
WCAG 2.0 conformance scheme, please email me and I will summarize
them for the list.  Don't worry about whether or not you can
come up with a good way to meet all those requirements; don't
even worry if your requirement list seems self-contradictory.
The goal here is to brainstorm, come up with a list of "wouldn't
it be nice" ideas, and then as a group come to some consensus
on which are most important.

Here are some proposed starting points; I will be incorporating
these into the final list along with other requirements which
I receive:

* Conformance claims should be machine-readable; therefore,
   the conformance scheme should be compatible with RDF.

* Conformance claims should be human-readable.

* Icons or graphics must be provided which identify conformance

* Conformance scheme should be simple enough to be easily
   understood by a wide audience with varying degrees of
   knowledge of our guidelines:  users (with and without disabilities),
   web authors, managers, policy makers, the media.

* Conformance scheme should be complex enough to accurately
   represent the relative level of accessibility of a web site.

* Conformance scheme should allow a user to identify specifically
   whether or not _her_ needs are met, based on her disability/
   ability type(s), rather than simply a generalized measure of
   "is this 'accessible'".  In other words, a blind user should be
   able to discern whether or not the site is claiming to be
   accessible to -her-, instead of simply measuring up to some 
   general standard of accessibility.

* Conformance should be compatible with WCAG 1.0 conformance
   scheme in some manner; there should be an established
   relationship between the two scales, if not an outright
   equivalency relationship.

* Conformance claims must account for alternate presentations
   being generated by adaptive web sites.

* Conformance claims should be reportable on a site-wide
   basis -- e.g., this claim refers to all of our content which
   we have made available.

* Conformance claims should be reportable on a document
   level -- e.g., this claim refers to this document only.

* Additionally, conformance claims should identify alternate
   interfaces or versions which are more or less conformant, if
   known.  So the document above which was not conformant could
   also refer to a more accessible version.

* There should be a way to measure an aggregate conformance
   claim on a site which provides varying levels of conformance
   on different documents or interfaces.

Note:  None of the above are actual -proposals-, just a brain
dumb of ideas!  Please don't start debating them until I've 
collected -your- thoughts and ideas.  If you disagree with one
of the above, please rewrite it and send it to me, or write up
a counter proposal.  Once we have a large enough collection of
ideas (in other words, once people stop contributing new ideas),
I will post them and -then- we can look through the list and
separate the wheat from the chaff.

The purpose of those ideas listed above is just to get the
thought juices flowing.


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                    http://kynn.com/
Sr. Engineering Project Leader, Reef-Edapta       http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://www.idyllmtn.com/
Contributor, Special Edition Using XHTML     http://kynn.com/+seuxhtml
Unofficial Section 508 Checklist           http://kynn.com/+section508
Received on Friday, 22 December 2000 16:39:12 UTC

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