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RE: Section 508

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 19:10:47 -0500
To: "'Kynn Bartlett'" <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>, <love26@gorge.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000201bdb9bc$2c398800$f0176880@vanderheiden.trace.wisc.edu>
Perhaps this is where W3C guidelines come in....   setting a
benchmark for what should be considered accessible.

Gregg


-- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Human Factors
Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
Director - Trace R & D Center
Gv@trace.wisc.edu, http:// trace.wisc.edu /
FAX 608/262-8848
For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@
trace.wisc.edu

-----Original Message-----
From:	w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Kynn Bartlett
Sent:	Tuesday, June 30, 1998 6:06 PM
To:	love26@gorge.net
Cc:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:	Re: Section 508

At 08:22 p.m. 06/26/98 -0700, William Loughborough wrote:
>Section 508 of the Rehab Act requires that federal agencies not
buy
>inaccessible.  It's not much of a reach for that to apply to Web
>Authoring Tools *and their output*.  If a word processor or
whatever has
>the "facility" to produce inaccessible code as a by-product of
its "save
>as markup" feature, it should not be acceptable for federal
purchase??

Okay, so I'll be a federal agency.  Please define what
"accessible"
and "inaccessible" HTML code is, so I can know what to buy?

This is part of the problem with trying to rely on laws passed by
non-technical people that will be applied by non-technical people
to
a technical issue.  You and I can figure out what "inaccessible"
means, but what does it mean in practice?

Is an editor "accessible" if it provides automatic ALT attributes
(such as ALT="image34.jpg 3752 bytes")?  What if it "provides
support
for ALT attributes"?  Or does it have to _require_ ALT attributes
be used?  (And how does that mesh with autogenerated ALTs?)

You see, you and I can't even define what "accessible" means, let
alone expect a government bureaucrat to make that decision.  If
someone asks the maker of <X> brand of web software, be that
Microsoft or SoftQuad or Netscape or anyone else, "Does this
soft-
ware produce accessible code?" they will say "Yes, it does", for
whatever definition fits their product.

And so we're back to square one -- except that now the bureaucrat
thinks she's doing a good job on web accessibility, even if she's
not!

--
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
Vice President, Marketing and Outreach, HTML Writers Guild
  http://www.hwg.org
Education & Outreach working group member, Web Accessibility
Initiative
  http://www.w3.org/WAI/
Received on Monday, 27 July 1998 20:39:38 GMT

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