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

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 13:03:58 -0400
Message-ID: <3912FEFE.7A7AEB33@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 09:32:03 -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

I am going to leave this discussion on-line as I think it is very important
that folks look at the big picture when we are talking about any issues
related to accessibility.

The W3C and its components including the WAI are a very political
organization and as such have the problems that any other organization of
its nature does. As a result any subsequent documents that are produced are
a result of a political process, and reflect the interests of the various
stakeholders involved. We are starting to see a lot of discussion in the
mainstream IT journals about this issue, and I think a lot of the negative
view points that are coming up are over inflated, but yet reflect this
concern on actual costs by people who know a lot more about this kind of
thing than most folks who work in the AT side of the house.

If you look at my program site (tap.orst.edu), you will find that we violate
the WAI guidelines in a couple of areas, but that it does not effect the
accessibility of our site in any way. I have been developing complex web
sites for as long as there has been a web, and as a developer I find the WAI
checklist bothersome, but that is not to say that I do not take it into
account when I work on the development of sites.

The costs I quote are based on the research we have done here on the
development of over 400 educational sites for the university. We, more and
more, are getting involved at the outset in there development. Additionally
retrofits cost at least twice as much when you are talking about a high
quality educational web site.

It is the compilation of a variety of cost factors, here are the major
categories off the top of my head. I am working on a series of articles
related to this research for my PhD and would prefer to deal in generalities
for now (intellectual property and all). Long term I project the costs will
be down to less than 5%, but the tools are going to have to be there first,
and people are also going to have to learn to use them. The APrompt and
Magpie tools are very promising.

1. Initial development meetings to insure accessibilities impact on
pedagogical integrity is addressed. For those of you not in education, we
can not compromise the pedagogical quality of content of a course in order
to make it accessible. These are not additional meetings, but usually an
hour or two is involved in the site development process to deal with
accessibility. Longer if it is a highly interactive site.

2.  Actually coding of the site to insure accessibility, this cost can be
very high if a wysiwyg web development package is used. Such as Front Page.
If d links have to be developed this can add up relatively quickly if very
complex images are included. Think about an art appreciation course, and the
time involved to adequately describe a Monet.

3. Time to caption and audio describe any streaming media.

4. The quality assurance process, making sure you alt tagged every graphic
etc. I have a couple of food science sites I am working with that have
thousands of necessary graphics included, and not matter how many times we
go through the site we seem to miss a few.

Hope this helps.

Ron



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Tobias [mailto:tobias@inclusive.com]
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 8:48 AM
To: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
Subject: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages


Hi Ron and all,

Well, we've obviously touched some nerves here.  I'm
glad to hear that people have gone ahead and "popularized"
the WAI content for their local users, but chagrined to hear
that WAI has not been as open to those efforts as we might
like.  I don't know whether they are still missing
someone to fill their Outreach Coordinator role. (I mention
this not as an excuse but as a "Help Wanted" posting!):

http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Recruitment/99-WAI-EdOut.html

Ron, you raise an interesting point about costs.  I agree that
these can be understated.  But I question your 10-15%
figure.  Does this include training time?  If so, I suppose
we should expect that to drop over time, as developers
become more familiar with accessibility.  But if it
doesn't include training time, can you give me an idea of
the breakdown of costs, espcially if there are some big
outliers?  I've been working on Comments on the Sec. 508
NPRM Regulatory Assessment, and I'd like to quantify some
points if possible.  Feel free to take this off the list, if
everyone else is getting bored....

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 Stewart, Ron
> Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 10:51 AM
> To: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
> Subject: Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages
>
>
> 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
>

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 13:04:25 GMT

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