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Open issue #55

From: Paul Bohman <paulb@cpd2.usu.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 12:33:23 -0600
To: "Wendy A Chisholm" <wendy@w3.org>, <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>, "Web Content Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Open issue #55

Paul proposed a "Limitations" section that discusses the
usability/accessibility conundrum which we have not yet resolved. It sets
expectations that we discuss some usability issues but will not attempt to
cover them all.

The actual wording of a "limitations" section may vary significantly from
what I originally proposed, but I am still in favor of including a reference
to the fact that, no matter how good our guidelines end up being, they are
not going to solve every problem for every person with a disability. Exactly
how we say this, or how much space this takes up (whether one sentence or a
paragraph) will depend on the final shape and form of the guidelines
themselves. I just think that it is important for us to point out the
limitations of our work, whatever those limitations may be. Note that my
intent is much broader than just a debate about usability versus
accessibility. That is only one of many potential limitations of our

There are a few reasons why I think it is important to acknowledge the
limitations of our guidelines:

1. I believe that it will increase our credibility.
2. It will give us something to work toward in future versions
3. *** This is probably the most important of all: It underscores the fact
that wrote compliance with a set of guidelines is not synonymous with

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Utah State University
Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2001 14:33:22 UTC

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