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[Fwd: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages]

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 10:58:54 -0400
Message-ID: <3912E1AE.BFA339D4@clark.net>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 07:50:37 -0700
From: "Stewart, Ron" <Ron.Stewart@ORST.EDU>
Reply-To: "* WEB http://www.rit.edu/~easi" <EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
To: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU

Greetings,

I tend to agree with Paul, the W3C stuff while very valuable to an
experienced web developer, is almost useless for a lay person. Those of you
who have heard my presentations on Web Access have heard this before. We
have rewritten the guidelines to be more usable for our developers here at
OSU, mostly faculty who know almost nothing about HTML code. We have found
that almost anything that is produced for general consumption needs to be
tailored to the specifics of your institution.

We have approached the WAI with a more usable rewrite of their guidelines,
and have never had a response. We wanted distribution permission to beta
test the evaluation protocols we had developed, and basically got blown off
by the WAI, despite talking to the folks in charge on more than one
occasion.

The other piece of misinformation that tends to get spread around is that
accessibility does not cost anything. If you try to sell this to your
institutional IS folks your credibility is going to take a nose dive. Making
educational websites fully accessible adds 10-15% to the development time of
the site, so logically it also adds correspondingly to the cost of overall
development.

Ron Stewart

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ron Stewart, Director
Technology Access Program
Information Services
Oregon State University
109 Kidder Hall
Corvallis, Oregon  97331
Phone: 1.541.737.7307
Fax:   1.541.737.2159
E-mail: Ron.Stewart@orst.edu
WWW: http://tap.orst.edu



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Tobias [mailto:tobias@inclusive.com]
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 6:13 AM
To: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
Subject: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages


Hi Paul and all,

Gee, I thought this reaction to the WAI content was a little extreme.
I think their job -- which we probably agree was done almost perfectly  --
was to specify exactly where there were access problems in content,
browsers, and authoring tools, and what the corresponding solutions and
approaches are.  As a matter of fact, to my mind WAI documents are
the best such job I've seen.  Their completeness does in fact cause
for problems in reading and implementing, for people who don't want to
become experts.  I think this category includes 95% of the people
who we want to reach, such as your users.  But that's not really
WAI's fault.  In fact, they did a good job of publishing the
bare essentials on a business card.  This format may be too brief,
but it has gone a long way in convincing potential critics that the
problems are not abstruse or insoluble.

And I'll bet that if you -- or a bunch of us -- approached WAI with
a proposal to extract, collate, index, and "leaven" their content
for this semi-mainstream, non-expert large audience, they'd be
entirely enthusiastic.  I've done this for some corporate clients,
who also like to fold in some of their own content for an intranet
accessibility resource, and it's quite feasible.

Jim

Jim Tobias
Inclusive Technologies
tobias@inclusive.com <mailto:tobias@inclusive.com>
732.441.0831 v/tty
732.441.0832 fax
http://www.inclusive.com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: * WEB http://www.rit.edu/~easi
> [mailto:EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU]On Behalf Of Paul Chapin
> Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 8:47 AM
> To: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
> Subject: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages
>
>
> > We often refer folks to the following site:
>
> > Chisholm, W., Vanderheiden, G., & Jacobs, I. (1999). Web content
> > accessibility guidelines 1.0 - W3C recommendation 5-May-1999.
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/wai-pageauth.html
>
> I'm sorry, but I find the stuff from www.w3.org to be pretty
> useless.  It's
> long winded, confusingly organized (it's hypertext taken to an
> extreme), and
> full of recommendations that are either not essential (use cascading
> spreedsheet instead of blockquote to indent) or pointless (use
> longdesc tag
> dispite the fact that none of the current common browsers support
> longdesc).
> If I pointed my users to those pages, they would take one look at them,
> decide either I was out of my mind or that making pages
> accessible would be
> a massive undertaking, and abandon any attempt at accessibility.
>
> The guidelines were clearly written by programmers and html geeks who were
> much more interested in conceptual purity than getting the job done.
>
> Paul Chapin
> Curricular Computing Specialist
> Amherst College
> http://www.amherst.edu/~pdchapin
>
> Check the URL below to enter your institutions
> Web page in EASI's Barrier-free Web Contest
> http://www.rit.edu/~easi
>

Check the URL below to enter your institutions
Web page in EASI's Barrier-free Web Contest
http://www.rit.edu/~easi

Check the URL below to enter your institutions
Web page in EASI's Barrier-free Web Contest
http://www.rit.edu/~easi
Received on Friday, 5 May 2000 10:58:52 GMT

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