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Re: [2.1] Conformance if no device with keyboard exists

From: Doyle Burnett <dburnett@sesa.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 11:10:00 -0900
To: "Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, W3C Web Content <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BBFE0108.178F%dburnett@sesa.org>

Hi Yvette -

I am now really confused - what else is new.

In my read and from previous discussions I think "we" are saying that
content (at a minimum) must be operable via the use of a keyboard or its
assistive technology (AT) equivalent (alternative keyboard interface).

If someone has developed an alternative keyboard (assistive technology
device such as Intellikeys, for example) an author would not have to know
such a device existed so long as their web content was operable via a
keyboard or its equivalent and the information it puts out. I think when we
talk about a keyboard, we are talking about the functions of the keyboard
(the information sent to the computer) and not what we envision when we look
at a keyboard.  

An alternative keyboard can be hardware (Intellikeys, again) or software (on
board keyboard).  So long as the author's content can be accessed and
operated by the information sent from the keyboard or other such interface,
it seems that they'd comply.

Yvette, let me know if I have understood you correctly.  I will talk with
you soon.


Doyle Burnett
Education and Training Specialist
Multiple Disabilities Program
Special Education Service Agency

On 12/11/03 10:42 AM, "Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl> wrote:

> Hi list,
> While preparing for the meeting tonight, I once again read guideline 2.1
> about "Ensure that Interface Elements in the Content are Operable by Any
> User". 
> Here it says:
> "If it's written to be used with a device that doesn't have a keyboard, but
> it could also be used by similar devices that do and it would work with
> their keyboard, it conforms.
> If it's written to work with devices that do not have keyboards and it can
> not be used by any other devices that do have keyboards, then it does not
> conform. (It cannot be accessed via keyboard.)"
> I have a few problems with this. I tried to see if these have been mentioned
> before but could not find it in the mailinglist archives. Feel free to point
> out any previous discussions to me if I'm just re-iterating something that
> has already been discussed at length.
> My questions are:
> * How available should a device with a keyboard interface be before you can
> say the functionality conforms?
> If a handy toolman creates a one-off device with a keyboard to help his
> blind cousin operate the functionality, a device with a keyboard interface
> exists but since it's not available to other people I would not say it
> solves anyone else's accessibility problems.
> * How is an author supposed to know about the range of devices out there
> that are meant to help people with disabilities?
> I have seen many assistive devices created for people with disabilities that
> I previously had no idea existed. Authors who don't know a lot about
> disabilities, may not be aware of devices that are created to allow people
> to operate functionality by keyboard. Do we require the authors to research
> whether these devices have been created?
> * How is the author supposed to keep up with what's out there? New devices
> are created every day. What if a device exists today, but is taken from the
> market tomorrow? Does the functionality conform? Do we require a constant
> effort to check whether there is still a keyboard operated device out there
> which can operate the functionality?
> I think it's to much to ask of the author to adept his web content on the
> basis of the existence of devices with a keyboard interface. Therefore, I
> think we should drop the requirements for devices that do not have a
> keyboard. Otherwise we're saying you cannot write WCAG-compliant content for
> devices that do not have keyboards or variants with keyboards, which I think
> would be a very bad development.
> If we drop these requirements for keyboard-only devices, authors for those
> devices can still conform to WCAG. This will make hopefully stimulate the
> creation of accessible content for these devices. This will in turn increase
> the chance that someone will create a variant of the device with a keyboard
> interface. 
> Yvette Hoitink
> CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2003 15:08:55 UTC

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