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Re: FW: Revision to Web Accessibility Policy

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 22:05:36 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: "GLWAI Guidelines WG \(GL - WAI Guidelines WG\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 09:03 PM 10/16/2001 , Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
>Our campus had adopted a Double AA WCAG 1.0 policy.  Lots of screaming followed from certain quarters.  So a group lobbied to reduce the requirements.  Instead of going to Single A they went to the 508.

Ugh!  I have to say that this is the nastiest effect of having too many
"competing standards."  In my opinion -- which is not popular -- 508's
technical standards are very inferior and an amazingly poor choice
for anyone who is not already required to use them.

The _ideal_ policy is:

* All of WCAG 1.0 Priority 1
* Some of Priority 2
* Some of Priority 3
* Anything else the site wants to mandate
(Note that the above, if done right, can easily and painlessly encompass
the legal requirements of 508 for federal web sites.)

But the absolutely _wrong_ "default implementation plans" wedged into
WCAG 1.0 ("Single A" "Double A" "Triple A") lead to the kind of "all
or none" thinking displayed here, and eventually leads people to
even worse policies such as 508.

This is why we need to make WCAG 2.0 compliance a _toolkit_ for
policy and not a set of _prebuilt_ policies!!  Anything else will lead to
WCAG 2.0 having decreased relevancy -- WCAG 2.0 needs to be
a meta-level up from 508, so that you can build a 508-compatible
policy or _any other policy_ using WCAG 2.0.

Please, folks, let us NOT hard-wire policies and expect people to
"pick one", let us instead give them the policies -- and information
necessary -- to produce their own policy.  Let's not repeat the
worst mistake of WCAG 1.0.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 01:11:13 UTC

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