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Re: College Policies on Accessible Web Page Design

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 18:22:37 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.19991122175318.00a5bef0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "Paul Bohman" <paulb@cpd2.usu.edu>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
aloha, paul!

in your response to kynn, you wrote:
 You mentioned the language attribute. Which other checkpoints from Priority
 3 would you recommend as system-wide requirements? I open this question 
 up  to the group

to which i respond, here is a list of items that should have been accorded
a higher priority level than the P3 with which they were classified by
WCAG, and which are particularly important means of providing access to
information in an academic setting

1. Checkpoint 4.2 "Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in
a document where it first occurs" -- -- you should, however, stress that it
is most important to use ABBR in documents where there are 2 instances of
the same abbreviation (such as quote d r period unquote, or "Dr." which can
mean "doctor" as well as "drive", depending on context); the same caveat
applies to ACRONYMs

2. Checkpoints 9.4 "Create a logical tab order through links, form
controls, and objects." and 9.5: "Provide keyboard shortcuts to important
links (including those in client-side image maps), form controls, and
groups of form controls" -- in other words, use TABINDEX and ACCESSKEY in
client-side image maps and in forms (Note: you will also need to require
that when ACCESSKEYs are defined for an image map or form, that a list of
ACCESSKEYs must also be provided, and linked to the form or the image map,
so that users know that the ACCESSKEYs exist; a TABINDEX order listing is
also highly recommended)

3. Checkpoint 11.3 "Provide information so that users may receive documents
according to their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.)" --
basically, use META data; this will vastly improve any internal search
facility your site may implement, which is an extremely important
consideration when working in an academic setting

4. Checkpoint 13.6 "Group related links, identify the group (for user
agents), and, until user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group"
-- make a "Skip NavBar" link the first item in the navigation bar; if the
navigational controls take the form of an image map, make the first link "A
List of AccessKeys for this Page" (refer also to point 2 above) and the
second link "Skip NavBar"

5. Checkpoint 14.3 "Create a style of presentation that is consistent
across pages. " -- this is a basic principle of usability, as well as

6. Checkpoint 5.5 "Provide summaries for tables." -- this is not only
important for tables used to present tabular data, but since you have
decided to allow the use of tables for layout, you should use the SUMMARY
attribute to indicate that the table is used for layout, so that the user
of A.T. can take appropriate steps...  of course, you should also ensure
that any content which is marked up in a table for layout purposes
linearizes comprehensibly...
i hope you find this information useful -- if you would like clarification
on any of these points, please let me know via the WAI-IG list,
He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Monday, 22 November 1999 18:15:41 GMT

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