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Re: practical info for creating accessible web pages

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 16:57:05 -0400
Message-ID: <391335A1.D037DE08@w3.org>
To: John Gardner <john.gardner@orst.edu>
CC: "* WEB http://www.rit.edu/~easi" <EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>, WAI UA Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Ron.Stewart@orst.edu, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Hello,

[I'm moving this discussion from the user agent list
to the IG list as it does not concern the User Agent 
Guidelines Working Group alone.]

I have a question about one comment below from Rod Stewart:

  | We have approached the WAI with a more usable rewrite of 
  | their guidelines, and have never had a response.

Do you have a URL to your proposal?

 - Ian

John Gardner wrote:
> 
> This is an iceberg that needs to be diverted out of the shipping lanes.
> Everyone who has tried to read the WAI recommendations knows that most
> people cannot use them "as is".  The WAI itself has made a billfold card
> with a summary of recommendations, and I have heard of several
> organizations who are either planning or have in progress some work to make
> some intermediate readable translation of the full set of guidelines.
> 
> I am distressed to hear that Ron has been ignored by the WAI in his attempt
> to help in the translation process.  The WAI evangelization effort may need
> some improvement.  At the very least, the WAI needs to be sure that efforts
> by Ron and others are coordinated, not ignored.
> 
> John
> 
> At 07:50 AM 5/5/00 -0700, you wrote:
> >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
> >>
> >
> John A. Gardner
> Professor and Director, Science Access Project
> Department of Physics
> Oregon State University
> Corvallis, OR 97331
> tel: (541) 737 3278
> FAX: (541) 737 1683
>         SAP URL: http://dots.physics.orst.edu/

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Friday, 5 May 2000 16:57:22 GMT

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