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Re: Illustrating Guidelines

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:07:04 +1000
Message-ID: <15099.25960.654397.207758@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Cc: "3WC WCAG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>
Perhaps it would indeed be better to create a separate, multimedia
presentation based on the guidelines than to insist that every
guideline and/or checkpoint be illustrated. Also, though there has
been much discussion on this thread, there has been little, if any,
"hard data" regarding the extent to which, given a document of this
nature, illustrations will aid comprehension (for people with
disabilities in particular or for readers more generally), and if so what
kinds of illustrations are needed, and in what context. Further, it
may (or may not) be more effective to improve the document by
clarifying the language used, than to introduce superfluous graphics.

What we need, I think, and this is clearly lacking in the whole
discussion of "cognitive" issues as they pertain to the guidelines, is
firm (non-anacdotal) evidence of what factors most influence the
comprehensibility of different classes of content, for which groups of
potential readers, and under what conditions. In that case, at least,
one can provide a prioritized list of factors which document and web
site editors can take into consideration should they wish to make
their publications more accessible to people with cognitive
disabilities.

Needless to say, these are my personal observations and are not made
in my capacity as working group co-chair. To move this discussion
forward, however, I think there is a need for well researched and
credible evidence as to what techniques are most useful in improving
comprehension. Those which can be applied across a broad variety of
web content warrant a place in WCAG 2.0 checkpoints; those of more
limited applicability are nevertheless important and should either be
treated as "usability" requirements, or placed in a separate document
intended for content developers who want to optimize their
publications for audiences that include people with 
(particular kinds of) cognitive disabilities.
Received on Friday, 11 May 2001 00:08:05 GMT

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