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RE: Practical reality

From: Yvette Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 10:35:46 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000401c5e123$22ab8c20$0400a8c0@heritas.local>

Hello everyone,

I think Makoto's observations about guideline 1.2 are exactly what we need
for the discussion about it. In this mail, I will explain my opinion on
whether to take practical considerations into account when deciding what
level things should go in.

In the end, the effect on the accessibility of the web of our guidelines
depends on two factors:
* How much following the guidelines increases accessibility
* How many people follow the guidelines.

I think the group is mainly focused on the first aspect, and sometimes
looses sight of the second aspect which is just as important. For this
reason, I would advocate that all of our level 1 items:
1.  Achieve a minimum level of accessibility by making all of the content
accessible to assistive technology
2. Can reasonably be applied to all Web resources, including all languages
3. Do not require extensive training and/or highly specialized tools

Only if we add the third criterion, we can make sure level 1 is doable for
everybody. I'm worried that if we do not consider the practical reality of
how hard it is to do certain things, we will end up with guidelines that *if
followed* greatly increase acessibility, but their effect is limited because
many people choose not to follow the guidelines because they're too hard to
do.

Let's not forget that in many parts of the world, accessibility isn't
required by law yet. And even in countries where it is, it's usually only
required for corporations, not private websites. The majority of websites
out there are not under any legal obligation to be accessible, and probably
won't be for the lifetime of WCAG 2. Creating guidelines where level 1 is
relatively easy to do will stimulate people adopting it for their own
websites and will increase the accessibility of the web in general.

Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
WWW: http://www.heritas.nl 
Received on Friday, 4 November 2005 09:36:00 GMT

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