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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

  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; }

     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 UTC

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