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FW: Guidance on non-text versions of websites from NIST Information Access Division?

From: Boland Jr, Frederick E. <frederick.boland@nist.gov>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 08:41:43 -0400
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bailey@Access-Board.gov>
CC: 'WCAG' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D7A0423E5E193F40BE6E94126930C4930879172B0E@MBCLUSTER.xchange.nist.gov>
Fyi  Best Tim Boland NIST

>From Sharon Laskowski of NIST:
"I'm not aware of work in this area as I'm not following it closely.

The advice from http://www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/online-course/standards/textonly.htm  (2003) for validation:

 *   Is read both the graphical and text-only versions of the web page and compare content
Obviously, if you have something such as a visualization summarizing a lot of info, it may not be possible to create a completely equivalent text version.   It seems to me that one has to compare the content manually in both versions, noting issues such as the one I just described.   Comparing the functionality of the interaction, such as navigation paths is yet another layer of difficulty that is impossible to completely achieve in some cases.    There are so many types of content, I don't know if it possible to do more."

>From Mary Theofanos of NIST:


I agree with Sharon I am not aware of any specific tests.

But I have been provided a very useful link and document by a colleague overseas that may be of use. I hope it helps.



From: Boland Jr, Frederick E.
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 9:35 AM
To: Laskowski, Sharon J. Dr.; Theofanos, Mary Frances; Morse, Emile L.
Subject: Guidance on non-text versions of websites?

Hi, there is currently a discussion in W3C Web Content Working Group about providing more specific guidance on
text-only conforming alternate versions of websites.  The requirement is only that it "provides all of
the same information and functionality" but those terms are not currently tightly defined.   Do you know of any
studies/research (possibly involving users) on measuring/testing whether a text-only version of a website in fact provides the
same functionality as other versions containing non-text content?   Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks and best wishes
Tim Boland NIST

Received on Monday, 6 June 2011 12:42:12 UTC

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