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Debunking the need for "text-only" parallel sites

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 17:21:48 -0400
Message-Id: <199905202126.RAA29221@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I very much appreciate that the "WCAG 1.0" Fact Sheet
(http://www.w3.org/1999/05/WCAG-REC-fact#text) goes so far at to say:

> Text-only pages should not be necessary to ensure accessibility of Web
pages that follow the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines," except in
very rare cases. In fact, text-only pages are frequently counterproductive
to accessibility since they tend to be kept less up-to-date than "primary
pages," or in some cases leave out information that is on primary pages. 
> Many sites that have made a commitment to accessibility in the past have
used text-only pages as a solution; however, by following these guidelines
it should be unnecessary in almost all cases, or even inadvisable, to set
up and maintain a separate set of text-only pages. 

I agree with all of the above.  I accept it as true.  Now, how do I prove
it to others who would advocate for text-only pages?  Can anyone point to
me to URLs that present evidence that "text-only" pages are usually NOT in
parallel with the default version?  Is there any published research that
the "text-only" approach, while perhaps having noble intent, is
counter-productive?

We had an interested thread here not long ago (starting with
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/1999JanMar/0064.html) where
the case was made that "text-only" did not mean accessible anyway!  Is this
a consensus position that is documented any where?

Thank you very much. 

Bruce Bailey, DORS Webmaster
http://www.dors.state.md.us/
410/554-9211
Received on Thursday, 20 May 1999 17:26:13 GMT

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