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Re: Validation as test for basic accessibility

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 100 09:57:31 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200001181757.JAA13713@ayla.idyllmtn.com>
To: webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Bruce wrote:
> I have made the assertion before that:  If a page validates, odds are that
> it is accessible!  In light of recent discussions, I think that this point
> warrants further promotion.  Before that though, it should be investigate
> more.  To this end, I challenge members of this list to do a little
> hunting...

I think your assertion is false.  Validation is a good first step
towards accessibility, but it's still just one step, and it's not
the ONLY first step. either.

> Can anyone cite a URL for a live site that formally validates as HTML 4 but
> does NOT meet the Priority 1 checkpoints of the WCAG?

BTW, note that valid HTML is a priority 2 checkpoint.

What follows is a list, based on the HTML Writers Guild's accessibility
policy's descriptions, of how you can break priority 1 checkpoints
using valid HTML 4.
   
  1. Provide text equivalents for non-text elements.
  
     <IMG SRC="topbanner.gif" ALT="[please download this image]">

     <!--
     Where "topbanner.gif" is an image with the name of the site on
     it and contains information that is not present elsewhere on the
     page.
     --> 

  2. Don't rely solely upon color.
  
     Eastbound trains are marked in <FONT COLOR="red">red</FONT>,
     westbound in <FONT COLOR="blue">blue</FONT>.

     <FONT COLOR="red">10:30</FONT><BR>
     <FONT COLOR="blue">10:45</FONT>

     <!--
     This problem would also exist if CSS were used.
     -->
   
  3. Identify language changes.
  
     [left as an exercise for the reader]
   
  4. Make sure pages are usable without style sheets.
  
     <STYLE TYPE="text/css">
     .east { font-color: blue; font-weight: bold; }
     .west { font-color; red; text-decoration: underline; }
     </STYLE>

     The eastbound trains are indicated like 
     <SPAN CLASS="east">this</SPAN>, and the westbound like
     <SPAN CLASS="west">this</SPAN>.

The rest are left as an exercise for the user; but already, our valid
HTML snippets have failed the HWG's accessibility standards, which are
based on WCAG 1.0.

--
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
Become AWARE of Web Accessibility!                  http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Tuesday, 18 January 2000 13:00:02 GMT

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