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DRC recommendations on WCAG (was: W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Statement on Web Access)

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 12:12:40 -0400
Message-Id: <a06001f1fbca3122a2b75@[]>
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

>Finding 5 of the DRC Report states:
>"Nearly half (45%) of the problems experienced by disabled users 
>when attempting to navigate websites cannot be attributed to 
>explicit violations of the Web Accessibility Initiative Checkpoints. 
>To the contrary, W3C/WAI's examination of the DRC data available as 
>of 14 April 2004 shows that 95% of the barriers reported are indeed 
>covered by existing checkpoints in WAI Guidelines. Of the 
>high-frequency problems identified in Table 5 of the DRC Report, 77% 
>are covered by checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility 
>Guidelines 1.0, while 18% are covered by checkpoints of the User 
>Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

Both parties are correct, but one party misses the point. The DRC 
report only considered WCAG; in that context, their statement is true 
and factual. Here WAI presents a separate issue as though it were a 
refutation. Indeed, UAAG is relevant in understanding the failures 
found by DRC. But in essence, WAI is changing the subject.

We know already that ATAG and UAAG are nearly unknown to developers. 
They were apparently unknown to the DRC, too, or at least it was 
determined that they merited studies of their own. But such studies 
would likely be outside of the remit of the Disability Rights 

I don't think the WAI response was "negative"; it was merely "defensive."

>W3C/WAI relies on feedback from all parts of the Web community as it 
>develops the WAI Guidelines, and will consider the suggestions in 
>Appendix 2 of the DRC Report along with other input received while 
>developing WCAG 2.0.


And for the record, those recommendations are:

>Recommendations from City University on the WAI Guidelines
>The Guidelines should provide better coverage of information 
>architecture and navigation design issues in relation to 
>accessibility by making recommendations that will:
>reduce the number of links and ensure that genuine and necessary 
>links are clearly identified as such
>avoid site fragmentation: navigation mechanisms should be consistent 
>(eg in appearance and behaviour), the relative importance of 
>different sections (across the site and within pages) should be 
>apparent, mark-up languages should be used to indicate the structure 
>of pages
>preserve links to the Home page
>improve search design
>eradicate excessively deep site structures; and ensure that page 
>titles are informative.
>In addition, the Guidelines should place special emphasis, in the 
>form of elevated prioritisation, on the following matters already 
>the need to divide blocks of information into more manageable units
>the need to ensure that foreground and background colours have 
>sufficient contrast
>the need to provide a text equivalent for every non-text element
>the need to avoid creating pop-ups and new windows without informing the user
>the need clearly to identify the target of each link
>the need to use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for 
>the site's content
>the need to ensure that pages work when scripts and applets are not supported
>the need to avoid movement in pages until they can be frozen.


     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org | <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Author, _Building Accessible Websites_ | <http://joeclark.org/book/>
     Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 12:13:52 UTC

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