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Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 10:02:50 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB50B2D46F0@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I have long been bemused by this conundrum because, to my mind, validity is much simpler and easier than accessibility.  I appreciate the concern that stretching WCAG2 may damage its credibility.  I believe that fear to be unfounded.

Wendy wrote:
> The following point that the mailing list is focusing on is 
> just *one* of several issues

Understood, but I cannot think of any single item that would have more far reaching impact than raising validity to the P1 level.

Matt wrote:
> And it's the wrong thing to lie down in the road over.

Such a thing would require a great deal of courage.  But I believe it is called for.

I used to think that it was a good strategy to leverage accessibity to promote accessibility.  hat tactic has not proved productive for me personally.

Somewhat remarkably, it is possible to turn the equation around.  The largish bureaucracy for whom I now labor pays close attention to accessibility, but -- despite my best efforts -- gives little note to validity.  I believe this is not untypical.  WCAG2 offers a perhaps unique opportunity for WAI to promote the broader W3C standards.  This would be a good thing.

> Invalid code is highly correlated with inaccessible HTML

Five years later it is still apparently impossible to find a non-trivial formally valid site that isn't WCAG1 Single A conformant.  Does anyone care to argue that, in actual practice, the one-way correlation between validity and accessibility is less than 99.9%?

Allow me to be US-centric for a moment.  WCAG1 P1 strongly influenced the Section 508 Accessibility Standards.  The 508 Standards are well overdue for updating.  It stands to reason that WCAG2 P1 will strongly influence any revision to the 508 Standards.  Taking the safe^D^D^D^D cowardly route for the guidelines is likely to doom the government requirements which will follow to a similar level of mediocrity.
Received on Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:03:03 UTC

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