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RE: having slept on the conversation....

From: Michael Cooper <michaelc@watchfire.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 14:09:01 -0400
Message-ID: <D9ABD8212AFB094C855045AD80FB40DD0613F4CF@1wfmail.watchfire.com>
To: "Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, 'Lisa Seeman' <lisa@ubaccess.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
I agree with you as well. I think our job is to define accessibility. We
need some minimal definition of conformance, but I question scoping the
claim, at least in our own definition of conformance. If particular adopters
(companies, legal entities) want to add scoping, that's their business.
There is a kind of minimal scoping built into the guidelines that Gregg
pointed out yesterday, e.g., guideline 4.1 requires at level 1 that
documents validate against technology specification unless there's a good
reason not to, but at level 3 says there are no exceptions. I think there
are good reasons for having that kind of "scope" built into the guidelines
but other kinds (date-based or section of site-based or even content
type-based) are not really important to the definition of an accessible
site. The one thing that perhaps does belong is a statement that "a page is
only accessible if paths to it are accessible" and maybe "an application is
accessible only if all components of it are accessible". But it should be up
to others to figure out a scope definition that meets those requirements, if
scoping is desired by those others. Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: Yvette P. Hoitink [mailto:y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl]
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:04 AM
To: 'Lisa Seeman'; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: having slept on the conversation....


Lisa wrote:

i have a deep concern about the direction of the scope argument.
 
IE: that people can claim a site conformance based on new content being
accessible 
whilst i understand that this is difficult to deal with legacy pages, even
with the scope of tools out there to help and make it easer, still dealing
with inaccessible legacy pages its a practical problem.
However inaccessible content is inaccessible content.
if we create a conformance statement that allows people to claim
accessibility with a scope that actually means that most of their site is
inaccessible, why will they ever address legacy pages, and the web will stay
inaccessible. Let them claim accessibility on a per page basis, let them
make a press statements that 99% of hits on their  site is to accessible
content (if old content is inaccessible is not so important). 
 
The reason that i see this as a death wish on accessibility is because so
much important content is legacy. and with this scope option it will stay
inaccessible  legacy.
Imagine if the whole Gutenberg project was inaccessible.  In providing this
scope it would never become accessible.
archived content should be made accessible. Why shouldn't a person with a
disability be able to do internet research , like the rest of us?
 
Ah, yes, i forgot, because it is difficult, off putting, bad for adoption of
these standards. 
but sometimes i find myself asking - what standards?
 
 What are we?
 Are we a body creating guidelines about making the  web accessible
or a body of industry representatives trying to create an accessibility
stamp that is suits their needs?
 
?

Thank you Lisa, for expressing so well what has been bothering me too. I
absolutely agree with you. 
 
We're supposed to make guidelines that organizations can use to determine if
their web content is accessible. If their web content is inaccessible, we
shouldn't offer a way to claim accessibility. If that means some corporate
website get labelled as inaccessible because (in their opinion) it's an
undue burden to change all the legacy content, so be it. Their website
really is inaccessible after all, which people with disabilities will
encounter if they want to access the legacy content.
 
As has been said before, by making the guidelines we drive the creation of
tools. In other words: we determine what will be easy to do in the future.
If we decide not to offer an easy way out for legacy content, this will
stimulate the creation of tools to address problems with legacy content.
This can only help to achieve what should be our primary goal: accessibility
of the web for all.
 
Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl <mailto:y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl> 
WWW: http://www.heritas.nl <http://www.heritas.nl> 
Received on Tuesday, 13 July 2004 14:06:40 UTC

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