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Re: Checkpoint 3.4 again

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 13:20:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

         I agree that 3.4 is badly worded. The intent of 3.4 is to state 
that illustrations are essential to some disabled users and they should be 
a part of the content any sites on the web that are intended to be used by 
ALL people.

         Case 2 is closer to what I want than Case 1, which says nothing 
that encourages the use of illustrations. Case 1 suggests that all 
illustrations to be used on the web have to be "designed" for such use. 
Poppy-cock! If it's a government services site, look thru the graphics 
files in the secretary's file, and find what will illustrate what you are 
selling. Company sites should be even easier! Photos or drawings of the 
products are easy to do ....

         Guideline 3.4 could be used to provide guidance for the inclusion 
of illustrations to a site mistakenly designed just for text, and as 
guidance to those who are using all or mostly all illustrations for content.

         It is my feeling that the bulk of web designers who use the 
guidelines will appreciate the type of information on illustrations that 
can be provided in this guideline, both in the choice of images and in the 
presentation of the image to be most useful to the user. (e.g. provide a 
full-sized version of  detailed illustrations  and photos that can be 
accessed by clicking on a small image on the page itself.) . Rather than 
creating a burden, it is going to lighten the burden for those who want 
their pages to be usable to everyone on the web. If folks choose to make 
page accessible only to text-users, they should be aware the page isn't 

         Joe, all elements on a page need an equivalent, not just the 
non-text elements. Text is an element and it needs an equivalent, like all 
the other elements. 3.4 is the only place this is addressed, and it doesn't 
do the deed.


At 11:53 AM 7/28/01 -0400, Joe Clark wrote:
>Checkpoint 3.4, as currently written, says:
>>Illustrations must be designed to portray important concepts or 
>>relationships employed in the content.
>The use of the passive voice is sinister here. Which of the following do 
>you actually mean?
>1. If you use illustrations, they must be designed to portray important 
>concepts or relationships employed in the content.
>2. You must use illustrations to portray important concepts or 
>relationships employed in the content.
>In Case 1, authors may use illustrations; if they make that choice, the 
>illustrations must meet certain goals.
>In Case 2, authors have no choice in the matter and must-- in every case, 
>without exception, and irrespective of appropriateness, applicability, 
>illustration skill, budget, or undue hardship-- provide illustrations.
>Mathematicians have not yet identified a number large enough to measure my 
>opposition to Case 2, for reasons that have been generally well-explained 
>by others.
>If WCAG really means Case 2, write the checkpoint so that it is absolutely 
>unambiguous. It is vaguely disconcerting that this unclear phrasing has 
>been allowed to stand until this point.
>         Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
>         Accessibility articles, resources, and critiques:
>         <http://joeclark.org/access/>

Anne Pemberton

Received on Saturday, 28 July 2001 13:24:58 UTC

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