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Re: FW: Revision to Web Accessibility Policy

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 19:03:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Matt and Kynn,

         Studying the conformance scheme ideas .... I think when Kynn says 
he wants it to be flexible, he means with little or no conformance scheme - 
put out the guidelines and let everyone pick and choose what to follow? 
Such a scheme would lend itself to a variety of interpretations by 
policy-makers as well as by those who direct the web designers' work. The 
alternative is a priority scheme (which is the task this week) ....

         If we go with flexibility, how do we label the various guidelines 
so that intelligent choices can be made? Do we identify each checkpoint by 
identifying the characteristics/disabilities of the users serve? Do we 
estimate the numbers?
Or should we do that internally?

         I'm thinking that if we created a matrix for internal use, we 
could look at it and start making some concrete decisions about what to do 
to move forward on defining a conformance scheme.

         We really do need a minimal conformance level, one that covers 
addresses all input and output variations and all major groups of persons 
with disabilities .... flexibility could apply above that level.


At 08:43 AM 10/23/01 -0700, Matt May wrote:
>----- 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.

Anne Pemberton

Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 19:05:15 UTC

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