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RE: FW: 4.1

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 10:56:56 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBJHFEOLAGEICMIMBPOEMPCFAA.leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>

This is becoming a very long threaded discussion.  I think it was Gregg that
recommended we remove the previous comments and cite them only if needed.

As much as I know about electronic engineering from my Navy days, and as
much as I know about logic and law, I am confused by some of the premises
made by those that seem to be in fields that I dare not approach.  I do good
getting my thoughts out coherently at times; my wife hates the pregnant
pauses and I get frustrated when I get interrupted.  Other times I can soar
like a bird through the sky.

Lisa, by admission, has confirmed my premise from months ago.  A person in
the profession will know how to deal with the information that is being
provided through the medium.  It is not important that the medium be reached
through a book at the library or a page on the Internet.  If that person had
chosen to go into the field and has ADD, LD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism,
ALS, or any other disorder, that person will find ways to enable them to
work in the field of their choosing.

Therefore, if we are preparing a book or web page we are more accepted by
colleagues if we follow the accepted writing practices of that profession.
For instance, a law dissertation would more than likely contain legalese.  A
dissertation on how a new drug interacts with the human body would more than
likely contain terminology that a doctor or scientist would understand.

If we follow the premise that good writing practices are always easy for the
average reader or the below average reader to understand, we are in effect
stating that the profession's writing practices are not acceptable.  It
seems illogical to tell the professions they need to be more accessible.
However, it does become logical if we tell them they need to provide
structure on the web page to enable scanning and highlight pointers.

A book has an index section that people can refer to for quick references to
information they are searching for.  A web page does not have that
capability and therefore must have some form of structure to give access to
the information in an understandable manner.  Lisa pointed out that page
summaries are an excellent way to meet this requirement.  That point should
be a level AA requirement.

The level A requirement should require writers to write coherently so that
their colleagues would understand the information.  Simply because
uninformed readers do not understand the concepts of how DNA and RNA work
does not mean that the scientist must write below their field.  Even school
books are written in the language appropriate to the field of study.  School
books are also written to an assumed reading and cognitive capability, but
are the primary resource for people to start learning from.

The level AAA requirement should require writers to provide direct links to
information that will help the reader understand the concepts and ideas
being presented.  I prefer to reach supporting information through a direct
link versus digging through other resources to get what could be linked to
directly.  Bibliographies and references in books always provide the title,
author, page reference.  A link on the Internet would have direct access to
the information with a simple link.

Lee Roberts
Received on Tuesday, 4 June 2002 11:58:02 UTC

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