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Re: C-6 Killed

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 11:52:45 -0400 (EDT)
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
cc: "GLWAI Guidelines WG (GL - WAI Guidelines WG)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0110051139260.8193-100000@tux.w3.org>
I am strongly opposed to this proposal.

In the real world, there are many groups who would be doing a lot of good by
extracting information about how to make something work for a person with a
particular disability, and making those higher priority than the rest.

for example, a unviersity may be providing a course by distance education,
and have a student enrol who suffers from dyslexia and colour-blindness.
While it is important in the long term that the materials for that course are
generally accessible, it is immediately critical for that student and their
university that the issues relevant to them are addressed.

It is also helpful for people who suffer from some disabilities but not all
of them to be able to find content which is useful to them even if it is not
universally useful.

Finally, it is helpful in building tools to support accessibility if they are
able to record partial accessibility - this is a critical scenario for
authoring tools right now.

In the near future, where web services are readily available, we can expect
that some of those are services which can partially repair inaccessible
content. (See, Web services isn't something coming, it is something people
have been doing for ages). If a user agent can repair some subset of
problems, it can inform the user that it can make some previously
inaccessible content accessible to them, based on combining information about
the particular problems in the content with information about what problems
it can solve itself or using further services available.

If we make it difficult for these scenarios, then I think we are doing a
grave disservice to our user community. In practice what is required is a
regular format for the document, and ideally some good web-oriented markup of
the kind that is used to make content readily repurposable.

We have already stated that want not to make it possible to claim conformance
based on meeting requirements for one kind of disability, and I think that is
important - it must remain clear that the goal of this group is to provide
guidelines on "accessibility for everyone" by which we apparently mean
"accessibility for everyone we can work out how to help" - a sensible
dilution but nevertheless a dilution.

Charles

On Fri, 5 Oct 2001, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

  At our teleconference today (actually yesterday now) , we killed
  consensus item C-6, which read:

  “C-6.  GL should provide hooks in WCAG to allow someone to provide a way
  for people to measure access against particular disabilities, but it
  should not be used for conformance.”

  It was decided that it was too dangerous to put hooks into the
  guidelines which could be used by people to selectively extract
  guidelines by disability.  We continue to affirm C-5, which stated that
  information about the benefit to people with different disabilities
  should be part of the guidelines.  But we felt that any mechanisms that
  might be used for automatic sorting or pruning were not a good idea.
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 11:52:46 GMT

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