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RE: level A and double A

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 11:58:05 -0500 (EST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
cc: <gdeering@acslink.net.au>, WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0201231155180.30246-100000@tux.w3.org>
Again, I actually agree with everything Kynn says here, and recognise that I
have changed some of my ideas on how I would categorise (for example) the
importance of illustration, and probably some things that don't leap so
readily to mind.

That being said, and recognising that WCAG is a technical statement of what
(the working group at the time felt) is required for accessibility, and not a
ready-to-use implementation plan for a large site which is in maintenance and
ongoing, rather than initial, developmentI still feel that as a rough guide,
the clearest one-sentence suggestion I would give is "go for double-A
conformance as a minimum goal".


On Tue, 22 Jan 2002, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  At 6:30 AM +1100 1/23/02, Geoff Deering wrote:
  >Well, are those categories arbitrary?  If they are, I think you are quit
  >right.  But if those categories are grouped into meaningful collections,
  >then they no longer have arbitrary meaning; the category itself must then
  >have a meaning.  If not, then why does it exist?
  >Also; to meet a priority you need to fulfil ALL the checkpoints of that
  >priority.  If this is not essential to claim conformance, why call it a

  You are probably asking the wrong person; I have been one of the primary
  critics of the current priority system, compliance scheme, and de
  facto implemenation scheme.

  In addition, there are a number of WCAG1 checkpoints which appear to
  have been classified incorrectly, even if you follow the WCAG1
  stated criteria for inclusion.

  The categories chosen as "Single A", "Double A", and "Triple A" are,
  in my opinion, quasi-arbitrary, since they rely upon subjective (and
  sometimes faulty) value judgments which may vary from person to
  person, and even vary within time.  At best they reflect "the ratings
  given to these checkpoints by the particular people within the
  WCAG working group at the time the documents were drafted, based upon
  a scale which is not defined clearly."

  That may be a useful measure, but note that the usefulness is very
  dependent upon the perspective of one group at one particular
  point in time, and those opinions can change.  For example, the
  group's opinion on the importance of illustration has varied
  considerably, to the point that there cannot accurately be said
  to be a consensus that illustrations are a Priority Three

  (Note that I'm not claiming there's consensus that it's NOT
  Priority Three; but presumably at the time WCAG1 was issued, there
  was agreement in the working group on this.  At the present time,
  I suspect you can find people who would argue anything from
  Priority One to Priority Three at this point.)

  Our understanding of accessibility issues continues to grow,
  and thus some priorities -- especially those "until user agents"
  checkpoints -- may not fit as well in 2002 as they did in 1998.


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2002 11:59:05 UTC

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