W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

More Philosophy Stuff

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 08:52:09 -0700
Message-Id: <a0510030db78dd47ee17b@[]>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
At 8:37 AM -0700 2001/8/01, Matt May wrote:
>MM Here's more of that philosophy stuff:
>First, the reason I'm bothered by this is that it's going to be tied to a
>compliance scheme, and when they are adopted as goals in organizations or
>governments, they become de facto rules, and we _are_ ordering these
>And yet, I remain unconvinced that rules can or should be made of 3.3 and
>3.4 (though I should underscore that they should be there nonetheless).

That's why I am increasingly of the opinion that our "guidelines" need
to be less rules-oriented.  I don't think anyone denies that "use
graphics to illustrate textual content" is a good general principle
that _does_ increase accessibility to people.

I think the objections occur -- as with Matt's -- because we have to
-force- everything into a strict "checkpoint" structure.  And if
something can't be made into a checkpoint, we hide it somewhere (in
techniques) or we drop it entirely.

This is a dangerous approach because it means we are surpressing info
which could help make sites more accessible merely because it doesn't
fit our preconceived notion of what our guidelines "should" look

I would prefer to see more "rule of thumb" guidelines, and possibly
ways to "parameterize" them so that someone who is using WCAG 2 as
the basis for a policy can make reasonable choices on what THEY will

In other words, something like:

Rule of thumb:  "Use illustrations when it could benefit your audience's

   Requirement:  Set a policy for how illustrations must be used.

   Implications:  Without use of images, web users -- especially those
     with cognitive disabilities -- may find content inscrutable.

   Examples:  <examples>

This approach is based on the view that WCAG 2 shouldn't -set- a (de
facto) accessibility policy -- as WCAG 1 unfortunately did -- but
instead should be an _adjustable toolkit_ to allow site administrators
to intelligently set THEIR OWN accessibility standards.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2001 12:00:26 UTC

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