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Article about the experts whose help WCAG needs

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 12:21:28 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSO.4.40.0212121212220.5736-100000@ns1.seeto.com>

I am working on an article for A List Apart <http://alistapart.com/>
that will examine how WCAG 2.0 can be improved by the participation
of specific topic experts.

	For example, if WAI wishes to write really credible and
functional guidelines on how to edit a Web site for
comprehensibility, WAI should have input from seasoned writers,
editors, and experts on plain language. Any WCAG guideline related
to design should not reach final stage without the active
contribution of expertise from well-qualified Web designers. That
sort of thing.

	The premise is that WCAG 2.0 will become a de facto
requirement. 1.0 has lots of problems-- it's outdated; certain
clauses contradict each other; it's hard to understand-- and we want
to keep history from repeating itself. Since "the Web community"
will be forced to comply with WCAG 2.0 or will do so voluntarily,
their expert input is required in the standards-making process
*now*. The WAI is, after all, nominally open to everyone.

	If successful, the outcome of the article will be an influx
of people with topic expertise and an interest in accessibility who
will give *truly expert* advice, which will reduce or eliminate the
current trend of non-experts pretending they know enough about a
dozen disparate topics to write and critique guidelines on those
topics.

	Without topic experts contributing to the creation of the
guidelines, the ultimate guidelines stand to be resisted or rejected
outright by other topic experts. WAI has done a poor job so far of
recruiting topic experts. I'm gonna fix that.

	SO: What I would like to hear are recommendations for which
*types* of expertise or which *disciplines* WCAG needs contributions
from. Feel free to map particular checkpoints against the particular
expertise that is needed, because I have a hard time keeping all
this stuff straight. (Rewriting the guidelines in plain language
will be one of the areas of expertise I will write about.) I'm not
asking for *names of people* or organizations, just subject areas
and disciplines.

	This is on the level and for real.

-- 

    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
    <http://joeclark.org/book/>
Received on Thursday, 12 December 2002 12:21:31 GMT

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