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

Re: Eating one's own dog food

From: Matt May <mcmay@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 15:38:17 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20010823223817.29579.qmail@web11304.mail.yahoo.com>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
--- Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com> wrote:
> I have not been able to duplicate a distraction from animations 
> with the children I work with, although I know there are hyperactive 
> ADD/ADHD in our population, such children have NOT have distractability 
> problems in the lab[...] But, as an overall statement, the 
> kids I know to be ADD/ADHD are far less distractible and on task during 
> their computer time than during their classroom time.  And just about 
> everything the kids use in the lab except Paint or Word has animation. 

My experience as someone with ADD is that I was successful with computers
versus the classroom experience because they provided instant response and
interactivity where classroom instruction fails to do so. It's specious
reasoning to attribute your kids' success directly to the presence or absence
of animation. Correlation does not imply causation.

> I'm still trying to develop a plan for a test for cognitive 
> disabilities that will show the need for illustrations ...

Why? Nobody on this list is arguing that illustration can be beneficial. 

But not for everyone, and in some cases it makes things worse.

Animation can be beneficial.

But not for everyone, and in some cases it makes things worse.

Any rule related to the human-language content of a document can be beneficial.

But not for everyone, and in some cases it makes things worse.

3.3 is in my opinion the only defensible checkpoint relating to the actual
human-language content of a document, and even then, it's simple common sense,
and depends on the author for compliance. Attempts to make it normative will
prove unsuccessful. 3.1, 3.2, and 3.5 can all be normative, but only because
they can be satisfied exclusively in markup. 3.3 and 3.4 are the only
checkpoints in the _entire document_ which affect content exclusively, and as
such, both should be informative.

Making rules for content has always been a bad idea. Even Strunk & White knew
they couldn't make rules of authoring. (And, fortunately for us all, nobody
tried to give _The Elements of Style_ the weight of law.) It is advocacy and
author education that will improve content for all forms of disability, not
some quest for a magic equation.


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Received on Thursday, 23 August 2001 18:38:24 UTC

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