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Re: Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 14:32:17 -0500
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB50B2D49AD@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

>> 22.  The evidence is that the one-way statistical correlation 
>> between sites that are valid to those that are accessible is 
>> too overwhelming to be explained away by the hypotheses offered.

> This is totally undemonstrated as far as we know.

You are mistaken.  The actual hypothesis is something like:  "Paying attention to *only* validity results in highly accessible web sites."  

The hypothesis is readily falsifiable by example.  As we know, the term "accessible" is vague and not binary.  Therefore the assertion is not demonstrated to be incorrect by a single constructed page, but a few real world sites would be sufficient to discredit the idea.

To demonstrate that the one-way correlation is significant, one individual could start looking.  That person should keep looking for three, four, five years.  Periodically, that person (and others) could invite some expert colleagues to help in the search.  If, after five years or so, that person (and the many others) still have not been able to gather evidence to the contrary, maybe there might be something to the hypothesis?

> The correlation may be caused if the careful, professional 
> developers who choose to attend to validity are more likely to 
> also attend to accessibility.

That is a rational hypothesis but, in light of the observed experiential data, it must be regarded as an extraordinary claim requiring *some* evidence.

> What would be interesting to see is a study of sites where 
> the developer had accessibility as a goal and those sites 
> divided into two groups - those where validity was or was 
> not an additional goal. 

I actually think the reverse will prove to be far more interesting:  a study of sites where the developer had validity as a go and those sites divided into two groups -- those where validity was or was not an additional goal.  Is there a significant difference in accessibility between the two?
Received on Wednesday, 9 November 2005 19:32:27 UTC

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