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Different categories of level 3 guidelines

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 20:48:03 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040415184721.752C9A1057@frink.w3.org>

Hello everyone,

In preparation for tonight's meeting I have been going through the various
level 3 items we have at the moment. Level 3 at the moment feels like the
dumping ground for everything that we know benefits accessibility but we
feel we cannot reasonably ask everyone to do (otherwise it would be in level
2 or higher). 

There seem to be different categories of things that ended up in level 3.
Some require a lot of effort, some are too restrictive for general use, etc.
It may be useful to treat the different kinds of level 3 guidelines
differently, so I will take a shot at an overview of categories with some
examples. The numbers refer to the level 3 items only (for example 1.1.1
means the first level 3 item of 1.1).

** Category: EFFORT **
These guidelines take a lot effort from the author of the web content.

1.1.1: A text document (for example, a movie script) is provided that
includes all important visual information, dialogue, and other important
3.1.2: Where a word has multiple meanings and the intended meaning is not
the first in the associated dictionary(s), then additional markup or another
mechanism is provided for determining the correct meaning.
3.1.4: There is a statement associated with the content asserting that the
Strategies for Reducing the Complexity of Content (the following list) were

** Category: RESTRICTIVE **
These guidelines put rather large restrictions on the content. 

1.4.2: Text is not presented over a background image or pattern, or if a
background image or pattern is present, the text is easily readable when the
content is viewed in grayscale to determine if the background makes it
difficult to identify individual characters. 
2.1.1: All of the functionality of the content is operable via a keyboard or
keyboard interface. (not just the functionality that can be described in a
2.2.1: The content has been designed in a way that any time limits in the
content would pass level 1, success criteria 1 for this guideline without
3.2.3: Components that appear visually on multiple pages, such as navigation
bars, search forms, and sections within the main content, are displayed in
the same location relative to other content on every page or screen where
they appear.
4.1.1: Technologies are used according to specification without exception. 

** Category: EXTRAS **
These guidelines mention additional functionality that helps users with

2.2.2: Any non-emergency interruptions, such as the availability of updated
content, can be postponed and/or suppressed by the user. 
2.5.2: Checks for misspelled words are applied and correct spellings are
suggested when text entry is required. 
3.2.4: When components such as navigation menus and search forms appear on
multiple pages, users can choose to have those elements presented in a
different visual position or reading-order.

I agree with many people on the list that it is not reasonable to expect
anybody will conform to every level 3 item, especially because the 'effort'
ones. Personally, I think a lot of the 'restrictive' ones could be asked at
level 2, but that's a different discussion.

I can imagine that someone wants to make a very accessible site, and would
stay within the limits of the level 3 items in the 'limiting' category. They
could even provide all of the 'extras', but don't do the 'effort'. Perhaps
we could do something with this in our conformance scheme? For example, my
example person could claim 'level 2 accessibility + restrictive + extras'.
(with rewording of course!)

Another way to categorize the level 3 items would be by disability, so
someone could for example claim level 2 accessibility + provisions for
people with cognitive disabilities. But But that would be difficult since
many of the guidelines have multiple target audiences that would benefit. I
do believe a conformance scheme for the level 3 items that involves target
audiences might work very well in practice, because my guess is that many
people who are going for level 3 will probably have a specific target
audience in mind (for example a website for a school for the blind). I don't
know if that's true, however. 

I hope this helps the discussion, talk to you soon...

Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
Received on Thursday, 15 April 2004 14:47:21 UTC

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