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RE: A PROPOSAL TO SPLIT THE WCAG IN THREE.

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 13:19:52 -0700
To: "WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LHEGJAOEDCOFFBGFAPKBAEPECIAA.chas@munat.com>
Kynn Bartlett wrote:
> Compliance might be hard
> to track -- once separated out, it's easy to claim compliance to WCAG
> but not to Comprehension especially if you can (incorrectly) justify
> your site as being "exempt" (and a lot people DO feel that way, in
> effect saying "I don't write for people who can't think right".)

Compliance.

There is something about this word that bothers me. It seems painful. Like
I'm being forced to do something I don't want to.

I think of compliance when I think of laws/rules/regulations, not when I
think of guidelines. Guidelines are about *helping* me to achieve a goal.
*Compliance* is about forcing me to do something I don't really want to do
(or am too lazy to do).

Again, this strikes at the core of what we are doing here. What is our goal?
Are we trying to help people to achieve accessibility, or are we trying to
force people to do it our way? That many people on this list have one eye
firmly on regulations like Section 508 leads me to believe that we are doing
the latter.

I think we should be doing the former.

I think that the "Guidelines" should PRESUME that the user is actively
trying to make his/her site accessible. All we need to do then is to provide
the clearest guidelines/links between guidelines we can, and the rest can be
left to the user.

Now some will say that "if we do that, many people will claim accessibility
without really achieving it." Well, they are going to do that anyway.
Enforcement of accessibility is not in our charter, is it? Helping people to
achieve it is.

I think that our "regulations mindset" stems from our frustration at the
sheer volume of inaccessible content on the Web, and from our experiences
with small-minded people who refuse to consider accessibility worth their
time. But this is emotional baggage that we are bringing in from outside.
*Is* there anything in the charter that charges us with enforcement duties?
I didn't see anything.

So I guess I don't accept the regulations-related arguments against
splitting the guidelines as having any real weight. But that's just my view.

Chas. Munat
Received on Monday, 20 August 2001 16:17:31 GMT

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