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RE: Call to embrace new technologies (Was: RE: issue with Guideline 4.2 )

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.its.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 16:44:52 +1100
Message-ID: <16837.5460.6720.89415@jdc.local>
To: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: "'Yvette P. Hoitink'" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Gregg Vanderheiden writes:
 > 
 > This is a tough question.
 > 
 >    - do we really want to say that something is accessible if it cannot be
 > used by people with disabilities -- but theoretically could if someday
 > someone made a tool that allowed it?

At the very least, the content should conform so soon as the tool
comes into existence; it shouldn't need to wait until the tool is
"widely available" (whatever that means) or available below a certain
price threshold.

 > 
 > If so then should we remove the requirement for alt text for images of text
 > because theoretically someday you could make a tool that would read the text
 > right off the image?   
 > 
At last week's meeting I explained why this was a bad example. What we
should do is to set a standard: user agents need to conform to UAAG;
content may be written under the assumption that user agents meet
their responsibilities. Nothing in UAAG (current or proposed) requires
that user agents be able to perform OCR or other analysis of images.

Whether we want to limit conformance to level 1 in the event that user
agents haven't met certain requirements is another issue entirely, but
in general I am in sympathy with the idea of not requiring wide
availability of implementations for the purpose of WCAG conformance.
Received on Sunday, 19 December 2004 05:45:42 GMT

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