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RE: Mail order catalogues was Re: Cognition Simulation

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 06:08:09 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20010904055138.00a73230@pop.erols.com>
To: jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au
Cc: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Jason,

         First of all, the programmer in question is my sister who is by 
blood, entitled to know my angsts. Putting these issues into priority 3 for 
the first version flies in the face of the definition of priorities because 
the groups of people who need graphical support to use the Internet is a 
very large group, such that it should clearly be a priority 1. Further, the 
constant challenges to attempts to make even 1.1, 3.3, and 3.4 say what is 
needed instead of mushing around the issue, complaints and flames that have 
contributed to the constant delays, all make it quite clear that this is a 
major stumbling issue.

         If we are going to solve the problem, we need to face it squarely, 
and without the foolishness over whether we "should" accommodate all 
peoples, or the infighting to see how little we can give them. Hiding the 
real issues from folks who may be of help isn't going to get us anywhere.

                                                 Anne

At 02:12 PM 9/4/01 +1000, Jason White wrote:
>Anne Pemberton writes:
> >  I
>  > spent the weekend getting better acquainted with a programmer who is 
> also a
>  > skilled graphical designer (in bytes, not on paper) .... She had to study
>  > the "guidelines", probably version 1.0 in her course work, and was truly
>  > shocked that the W3C's WAI may be having difficulties accepting the basic
>  > needs for graphics, especially in the disabled population (she was a
>  > teacher before she became a programmer), but in the educational community
>  > and general public as well.
>
>I think it would greatly facilitate the discussion if participants
>were to avoid making assertions to the effect that the W3C/WAI is
>having trouble accepting the need for graphics. This need is
>acknowledged even in version 1.0 of the guidelines, albeit at a priority 3
>level.
>
>Further reflection since WCAG 1.0 was published has shown that there
>are several factors which, individually or combined, can make content
>comprehensible or incomprehensible to certain identifiable groups of
>users. These include writing style and language usage (checkpoint 3.3)
>and the appropriate use of non-text (auditory and/or graphical)
>supplements as means of conveying information and concepts (checkpoint
>3.4). Consistency of presentation and of responses to user action,
>have also been cited as important factors in determining the cognitive
>demands which web sites impose upon their users.
>
>No one within the working group, so far as my reading of these
>discussions reveals, disagrees with the foregoing observations. The
>issues which remain controversial appear to be the following:
>
>1. How the access implications for people with cognitive disabilities
>    summarised above, should be taken into account in the priority and
>    conformance scheme.
>
>2. Exactly what should be required in order to satisfy the checkpoints
>    under guideline 3, especially checkpoints 3.3 and 3.4. That is,
>    what should be the success criteria, if any, and how should the
>    checkpoints themselves be formulated in order to characterize, as
>    clearly as possible, what is needed? One of the difficulties here
>    is that of formulating checkpoints that can be applied across a
>    broad diversity of web content.
>
>To address issue 2 effectively we need to bring considerable expertise
>to bear upon the problem, and it may be desirable to write a separate
>document (i.e., a techniques document) for this purpose; but the
>checkpoints themselves, and any success criteria, must still be as
>clear and precise as is possible under the circumstances.
>
>Several proposals have been offered in response to the first issue,
>including the idea of what I would call a "multidimensional"
>conformance scheme, in which comprehension and device/modality
>independence, for example, occupy separate categories, and
>implementors can make distinct conformance claims with respect to each
>of these dimensions.
>
>At this point I would like to suggest focusing the discussion on the
>issues outlined above in a cooperative effort to find appropriate and
>defensible solutions.

Anne Pemberton
apembert@erols.com

http://www.erols.com/stevepem
http://www.geocities.com/apembert45
Received on Tuesday, 4 September 2001 06:11:54 GMT

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