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Proposal for Conformance Scoping

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 01:09:11 -0500
Message-Id: <200404140609.i3E69LMO013986@jalopy.cae.wisc.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Was talking with Ben and Jason,

Would like to propose the following for discussion at the telecon.  It is a
fairly straightforward proposal for scoping.  Plus some comments on why.

A person/entity can claim conformance to WCAG as long as they meet the
minimum success criteria (level 1) for some parts of their site, and they
correctly identify those parts.  That is, they are free to claim conformance
to any part or parts, and to claim different levels of conformance for
different parts.   {this can be worded better but I am too tired - so I will
just go for meaning - and we can clean up wording later}

Why do it this wide open?
-   Because we can't really do anything else.   
-   It is not up to us to say that all or part of a site must be accessible.
We create the yardstick and we let web managers, CEOs, regulators or courts
decide which parts of a site it should apply to.  In fact Germany already
required navigation pages to conform to one level and document pages to
conform to another. 
-   We cannot possibly understand all the variances that could occur and
list the ones that should or should not conform to this or that.

Can't we do something to prevent someone from putting a logo on their home
page and having ONLY the home page be accessible?
-   While we can't define scoping etc.  we might reserve the right to
specify certain minimum requirements for use of the W3C Logo
-   most companies (big ones) don't use it anyway (or can't for legal
warranty reasons) so our restrictions aren't going to kill anyone
-   we could come up with some minimum requirements that must be met for
LOGO use.   These could be in the doc -- or they could be in a separate doc.
-  things like 
       -   navigation pages must meet
       -   all pages for completing transaction must be complete (e.g.
       -   top 50% of hits must be to accessible pages

Or whatever. 

If we adopt something like this - It would make 1.3 and some other sections
easier to write.  

We could have 'how to use" or "how to scope' recommendations written up in
this doc or a separate 'note" to help regulators not do ill-advised things
(like requiring all pages on all sites to be level 2 or something).  Also -
could summarize what people / countries have done - and comment to help

 Will this approach lead to more variation between countries?

There are two types of variation.  One is a real problem. The other not.

1 - countries adopt conflicting rules.
This is a real problem and the most important to avoid.  Scoping in this
fashion would not lead to this.   Countries may have different requirement
levels, but they would all be subsets of the guidelines (or of a union of
the different countries' guidelines). 

2 - counties differ in the level or the scope of pages that must conform. 
This only requires that one conform to the most stringent in order to
conform to them all (or to the union of the guidelines).   It is possible to
conform.  There are no barriers.  One may not like to conform to the country
that is most stringent - but that is something to take up with that country.
There is no conflict involved.  



Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
<http://trace.wisc.edu/> FAX 608/262-8848  
For a list of our listserves http://trace.wisc.edu:8080/mailman/listinfo/ 
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 02:11:36 UTC

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