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Re: Consensus on Elephants

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 22:09:29 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "GLWAI Guidelines WG \(GL - WAI Guidelines WG\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

         and what a wonderful parade of elephants i'tis ....

At 11:56 PM 9/10/01 -0500, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

>In working on the 2.0 comments it  became clear that there were a number 
>of big issues that needed to be addressed.  We referred to them as the 
>Elephant Issues.   We therefore stopped to gather them.  Here is the list 
>we came up with.
>#4 is missing because we later determined that it was a duplicate with 
>number 13
>    2. User literacy level
>    3. Differences by language

These two bear similarities, so may be combined ... see comment on #8 ...

>    5. How document is interpreted by non-technical people

This is a biggie .... the best presentation of the guidelines is still 
William's version ... which shows everything important on a single 
screenful! We can't ask our audience to accommodate folks they can't 
empathize with, if we can't do the same ...

>    6. Implementation
>    7. Normative vs. informative (do we need normative?)

If we include normative, there may be a tendency to consider these the 
"core" of the guidelines, with the informative checkpoints as "priority 3" 
irrespective of the group size and practical applications .... Perhaps not ...

>    8. One version for all vs. multiple versions of web content

We can have a "one version for all", but that single version 
accessibly-maximized page could reach a whole lot of people ... but there 
are some disabled folks whose needs can only be served by a single modality 
presentation ... perhaps achievable in some multi-choice browser of the 

>      - client-side vs. server-side

I think this mean "set by the browser" vs "set by the web author" ... you 
can set in the browser unless the web author provides it on the server side 
.... am I missing the meaning of this elephant?

>      - reading levels

This is a tail of the 2/3 Elephant ....

>    9. Access for absolutely all?
>      - If not, how to draw line

Don't .... If we don't explain how to make the web accessible to absolutely 
all (not necessarily in a single version of course) who will?

>    10. Guidelines for all sites vs. special sites

This corresponds with #9 ...

>    11. Do we intend guidelines to be used by regulators and 
> requirements-setters (e.g., in companies)?

Yes, and department appointees in various departments in government, and 
schools ... Our guidelines need to lead the follow through to authoring 
stuff such that a teacher can use a version x.x of Front Page and make a 
class page her Kindergartners can share with the same without needing to 
consult a bunch of technical guidelines so that the kids at her partner 
school for the blind and deaf can participate with the regular students 
.... Ah, perhaps I wax too educational ... <grin>

Until Front Page is usable for accessibility without knowledge by the 
author, the guidelines need to reach down to the least technical of the 
potential audience (folks who make   web sites that may come under federal 
or other national regulations) ....

>    12. Accessibility vs. usability

I'm never sure if usability is the large group and accessibility is 
subsumed ... or if accessibility is the extremes of usability ....

>    13. Conformance - why do it? How to test?

Testing tends to skew the importance of some checkpoints/guidelines. To the 
extent that testing a site helps an author find out which graphics they 
forgot to alt text as they edit the page, it's useful ... used as a 
distinction between priority levels, it could skew conformance away  from 
the goal of accessibility for all ...

>    14. Author and user needs conflict

This basically boils down to user needs for authors to provide "more" 
content than they originally planned ... whether it's adding text to 
audio,  or graphics, or adding the illustrations not originally imagined ...

>    15. User and user needs conflict

Not sure what this means ...

>    16. What is an equivalent?

When   we define "equivalent", we see how important it is to make it clear 
that all modalities need an equivalent, including text content ....


Anne Pemberton

Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2001 22:14:27 UTC

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