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Re: FW: Revision to Web Accessibility Policy

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 08:43:19 -0700
Message-ID: <005701c15bd9$83037fc0$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
> 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!!

I agree with your assessment, but not your solution.

I think that one of the largest issues in fostering accessibility in
organizations is the lack of a policy that holds water with respect to their
makeup and goals. The accessibility efforts I've seen often have a single
point of failure in the guidelines: that is, the stakeholders see something
their site will not support without a substantial redesign process, and
that's the end of accessibility. Or, like Gregg described, they seek legal
shelter in a weaker standard. The problem with overreaching, in this
respect, is the risk of under-grasping.

While I'm not excited about the status quo, or with point-scoring schemes, I
think that it would be reasonable to create accessibility profiles for
different web site types (education, government, content, commerce, etc.),
and declare for each group what the obstacles are and how to solve them. The
needs of people using assistive technologies differ slightly in each area,
which I think is partly responsible for complicating the prioritization
process which no one here is all too eager to begin.

I've mentioned before that many groups seek out Accessibility (with a
capital A) like they would any other technology (e.g., JavaScript, Flash).
My experience is that their interest declines sharply when they're told it's
not that simple. I think our challenge is to _make_ it that simple. In the
long term, that means making languages and tools that make accessibility a
forcing function. For now, though, I think it's more important and
productive to create rulesets that are tailored to the content provider, so
that they no longer have such excuses as WCAG is too rigid, or such-and-such
is unnecessary for their site. Stakeholders in accessibility decisions need
to know why as much as they need to know how, and since that differs from
site to site, our answers need to satisfy their questions.

-
m
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 11:43:52 GMT

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