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Conformance Level Clarification

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 19:17:21 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20050212031721.88958.qmail@web80901.mail.scd.yahoo.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Chris writes:
>Sounds simple but there is a problem - the idea of conformance levels
>has been lost. There is no longer any "minimum" level and there is no
>longer any "increased accessibility" level. The 3 levels for conformance are now
The definition of conformance in its present form does say level 1 provides minimum accessibility and levels 2 and 3 provide increased levels of accessibility. So if the three levels are gone as Chris   observes, then I guess there is a grave problem here.
I thought direct accessibility methods (levels 2 and 3) provide a greater level of accessibility than user agent enhanced accessibility and that is why the definition for level 1 says "minimum level of accessibility" and levels 2 and 3 refer to increased levels of accessibility.
How does one visualize the use of the conformance level? To a user of Web content, it does not matter how accessibility has been incorporated. Yes if you tell me (as a user) that an airline's site is more accessible than that of another (increased AA-level versus minimum single-A level) Than that is important and I would prefer to use the more accessible site, other things being the same. It does not matter to a user whether the content creators have relied on direct accessibility methods through content, or user agent enhanced accessibility.
The "how" aspect is important for one evaluating / auditing the site to verify the content creator's claim for accessibility.
It appears the "how accessibility is provided” aspect determines the conformance level and this in turn suggests whether content is accessible at a minimum or increased level.
Sailesh Panchang
sailesh.panchang@deque.com or spanchang02@yahoo.com

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Received on Saturday, 12 February 2005 03:17:53 UTC

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