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RE: Disability Type Analysis of WCAG 1.0

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 08:01:40 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100305b7ad6c3da814@[]>
To: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, "WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 3:37 PM -0700 2001/8/24, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>I have a better idea. Reject it out of hand. I'm not saying that Kynn's
>intentions weren't good, just that the method he used is faulty. If Kynn can
>formulate a real hypothesis and propose an experiment that *will* control
>all the variables, then that would be great! I'm all for doing testing to
>improve the guidelines. I just want us to avoid another wild goose chase
>(and the concomitant flame wars).

If I were trying to formulate a hypothesis and propose an experiment, I
certainly would have done so.  (In fact, a description of such is an
another response to you, Chas.)  But this isn't an experiment, despite
your repeated use of the words; it's just one person's analysis of
publicly available information (i.e. the WCAG 1.0 checkpoints).

Which is to say that anyone could sit down and look at them, and derive
their own results of this nature.  It's ABSOLUTELY TRUE INCONTROVERTABLE
FACT that WCAG 1.0 has more checkpoints about blind people than it does
about photo-epileptic people, about deaf people, about people with
cognitive disabilities.

All I did was quantify that fact into numbers, and publish it.  And this
scares you for some reason.

At 3:48 PM -0700 2001/8/24, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>Expect more of this. With cross-postings, this whole thread may open up a
>can of worms. Will we eventually be pressured to "close the guideline gap"?
>Will groups demand that they have equal guideline representation?

But, you see, the numbers are out there anyway.  Anyone reading WCAG
1.0 will pretty clearly see that most of the document is about access
by people who are blind.

Now, the _hypothesis_ is that this affects how they view the guidelines.
As I haven't even _done_ that experiment yet, you are pretty much blasting
as "bad science" some observational data meant to support an experiment
which hasn't even been done yet.

Is it correct to also say that you wouldn't WANT such an experiment to
be done?  Is that true also?  Your comments above seem to imply that
even _if_ WCAG 1.0's organization leads to false impressions in readers,
this kind of "information" shouldn't be distributed -- suppressed, even,
Chas? -- because we don't like the results that we get or how people
will interpret them.

That's "good science"?

>I hope not. But it gives one pause to think of where this all could lead:
>lots of wasted hours having to explain over and over again why the number of
>checkpoints does NOT reflect the degree to which a particular group has been

Yeah, how dare someone interpret information in a way we don't want them
to!  In the name of "science" let's squash all discussion of what these
easily observable numbers really mean.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Saturday, 25 August 2001 11:10:53 UTC

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