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Proposed: New wording for How to read this document section

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 14:05:52 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B7ADE93@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Several weeks ago, Jason and I took an action item to provide some new
wording to be included in the section of the introduction to WCAG 2.0
called "How to read this document."  The goal was to provide a clearer
explanation of how principles, guidelines, success criteria, and
conformance levels are related to each other and to offer some guidance
about resources that help our readers understand the success criteria
and guidelines in context.


I'm proposing that the new material

be added to the section about the "top layer" of our documents (i.e.,
the actual Guidelines document), immediately following the list of 5
items included in the Guidelines document. 


If adopted, the first paragraph of "How to read this document" and the
section about the top layer would read as follows:



How to read this document


In order to facilitate understanding of the guidelines and to help
people focus in on just the parts they need, the guidelines are
presented as a set of interrelated documents. There are 3 layers to the
guidelines information. 

1 - Top layer - Overview of Design Principles, Guidelines, Success


The top layer is titled "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0". It
is the document you are currently reading. This document provides:

List of 5 items

1. An introduction

2. The 4 major principles for accessibility (Perceivable, Operable,
Understandable and Robust).

3. The 13 guidelines. 

4. Success criteria, definitions, benefits, and examples for each

5. An appendix containing definitions, references, and other support


The Four Principles of Accessibility

The four principles of accessibility are as follows: 


1.    Content must be perceivable.

2.    Interface elements in the content must be operable.

3.    Content and controls must be understandable.

4.    Content must be robust enough to work with current and future


These four principles lay the foundation for making Web content
accessible. Under each principle there is a list of guidelines that
apply the principle. Under each guideline there are several success
criteria that express what it means to follow the guideline. The success
criteria are written as statements that may be true or false. They are
grouped into three levels of conformance.  (The conformance levels are
described below; see the section titled "Conformance".)


Normative content and testability

The principles, guidelines, and success criteria are all normative (that
is, required for conformance). However, only the success criteria are
testable because only the success criteria are written as statements
that may be true or false.  


Every effort has been made to ensure that success criteria offer precise
information about what is required in order for Web content to conform
to these guidelines.  At the same time, the guidelines and success
criteria must remain general enough to apply across a wide range of
technologies, including emerging and future technologies as well as
current ones. Thus there may be times when it is difficult to be certain
how to interpret or apply a success criterion.  In such cases, the
success criterion should be interpreted in the way that best satisfies
the intention expressed in the guideline to which the success criterion
belongs.  Likewise, the guideline should be understood in the context of
the principle under which it appears.

Non-normative materials may aid in understanding the success criteria
and how to apply them.

These non-normative materials include the Benefits and Examples listed
for each Guideline as well as the checklists, the General Techniques,
and the technology-specific techniques documents. The checklists and the
techniques documents are discussed in the following paragraphs.




Other changes to the intorductory material may be proposed later.



"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


Received on Thursday, 24 February 2005 20:05:54 UTC

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