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Re: tone as a guildeline?

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 13:24:20 +1100 (EST)
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.10.10112101309350.27099-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>

On Sun, 9 Dec 2001, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

> Were you suggesting that one of the guidelines deal with tone?
> If so - 
> Isn't that getting into content and affect rather than access?   
I would argue that it is. The question with which we are concerned is
broadly whether someone can perceive, interact with and understand the
content, not whether they find it offensive or otherwise inappropriate
(indeed, in order to find it offensive they would need to understand it at
some level beforehand).
> (Need to know if adding a guideline on tone is something that needs to
> go into open issues or not)
If someone writes a concrete proposal for it, including rationale and
suggestions as to where in the document it should go, then I will add it
as an annotation to the document, identifying it as an issue.

My other concern is that checkpoints 3.3 and 3.4 (which no one disputes
are of real and substantive accessibility benefit) have in themselves
attracted criticism from those who argue that they infringe upon the
author's freedom to express ideas in whatever manner she or he considers
best; and that if we added a checkpoint about tone this would only
exacerbate these criticisms, strengthen the perception that our guidelines
intrude too far into the authorial prerogative, and diminish significantly
the acceptance of our guidelines by developers, policy setters and the
public at large. It would also open up the entire policy debate concerning
"offensive" content, censorship, labeling and so forth which (at least in
some jurisdictions) has already attracted considerable public debate and
legislative intervention. I suggest that we don't want to enter into that

Disclaimer: these are my personal views and are not offered in my capacity
as working group co-chair.
Received on Sunday, 9 December 2001 21:24:30 UTC

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