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RE: Guidelines vs Standards (was Checkpoint 3.3)

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 10:04:23 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990721094107.1549D-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> This is my position too; I think the guidelines are great as guidelines
> but the conformance section, and the implication that you should use
> ALL "shoulds" (P2) if you use ANY, is the part that is broken.

From where in the document does this implication arise? The conformance
statement simply asserts that if one wishes to claim compliance, one must
provide certain particulars, such as the conformance level purported to
have been attained, the applicable version of the guidelines, the scope of
the claim, etc.

The guidelines do not strive to address the questions of when content
developers should achieve conformance at any particular level, what
government policies and time-frames should be established, what level of
conformance will satisfy the requirements of anti-discrimination law in
any particular jurisdiction, etc. Rather, what the guidelines convey is
approximately as follows:

Some barriers to access are absolute, in the sense that failure to satisfy
prescribed requirements will make it impossible for certain groups within
the community to take advantage of the relevant web resource. Other
barriers, though not absolute, are substantial in so far as they make it
more difficult (or less convenient and efficient) for certain groups to
access web resources. Finally, there are design techniques that can be
followed, which, though they do not in themselves remove significant
impediments to access, nevertheless facilitate the use of web resources by
certain groups of users.

From this definition are derived the three levels of priority, and hence
of conformance.
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 1999 20:04:30 UTC

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