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The accessibility "puck"

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 09:05:49 -0700
Message-ID: <35435B5D.750F500D@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
One issue frequently raised concerning the guidelines and what our
attitude should be concerning the "browser lag" in such matters as the
full implementation of HTML 4.0 and CSS2 is whether we should be
advocating for guideline adherence to (or even inclusion of) methods
that are not usable today.

At the L.A. Face2Face we almost exulted that in this case we were "ahead
of the wave" instead of dealing exclusively with "Retrofit Hell".  It
may seem vain to have guidelines recommending (demanding?) the use of
techniques that don't even work in any "major" browser but a quote from
Wayne Gretzky (who makes major contributions to braille literacy and
talking books, etc.) seems appropriate.  He may be the greatest hockey
player ever. When asked for his secret, Gretzky says, "I skate to where
the puck is going to be, not to where it has been."

I hope we can accurately where the puck is going to be in terms of our
guidelines and not be discouraged at the seemingly endless wait for such
things as the full implementation of style sheets.

Although many people using Word Processors aren't even aware of it they
are often using "default" style sheets as they WYSIWYG their way through
the composition of documents so it is to be hoped that all the methods
used to prepare web sites (includes the "save as html" feature of Word
Processors) will comply with the guidelines.

At present there is a problem getting some vendors to prompt for ALT=
tags when saving an untagged image from a page maker.  We must address
this problem head on and not allow our concerns to be trivialized for
the supposed inconvenience of authors who mostly don't know that they
are publishing inaccessible stuff unless the tools point it out.  The
Authoring Tools Working Group is trying to get accessibility features
into *ALL* systems that make web documents and it is not inappropriate
for all of us to lobby with our favorite software vendors to join this

Although this is mainly going to be a job for the aforementioned Working
Group and the Education & Outreach Working Group, we can use suggestions
from anybody participating in the Interest Group, so if any of you
"lurkers" has an idea, chime in, please.
Received on Sunday, 26 April 1998 12:09:02 UTC

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