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RE: [Fwd: Addition to the Record of the House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Internet and ADA by Gregg Vanderheiden]

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 14:46:30 -0500
To: "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "David Poehlman" <poehlman@clark.net>
Message-ID: <000c01bf78b6$85924580$1aac66a7@151877>
Thanks for forwarding this Dave.  Good to see that Gregg V. is (of course)
right on top of things!

I was a little alarmed by the EITAAC full endorsement of AA compliance,
saying that people "must" do all the "shoulds".  I guess I missed this news.
There are unnecessary (?) hurdles with implementing the Priority 2
checkpoints in total.  These have been brought up before, but (to my
recollection) have not been resolved.

Don't get me wrong, I love the WCAG, and think authors should address as
many P2 and P3 items as they can.  I am not even sure that I would argue
that some of the P2 items should be P3.  I would love to see it mandated
that all public commercial and government sites be level A compliant (and I
don't think that is too far off).  I am saying that a few P2 items fall into
the "unreasonable" and "undue burden" category, which means that Double-A
compliance is too high a benchmark.  Asking for that (in lieu of demanding
for Single-A) might do us more harm than good.

The trouble spots as I see them (others might wish to add -- or discount my
concerns):

> 3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than
images
> to convey information. [Priority 2]  For example, use MathML to mark up
> mathematical equations, and style sheets to format text and control
layout.
> Also, avoid using images to represent text -- use text and style sheets
instead.

Okay, so every graphic (logos too?) and imagemaps that includes text (even
those with ALT content) is not AA.  Do we really mean that?

> 3.3 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation. [Priority 2]
> For example, use the CSS 'font' property instead of the HTML FONT element
> to control font styles.

In combination with 3.1 (and 3.2 validity, and 11.1 use W3C technologies)
this mandates, in all practicality, that AA pages adhere to the *strict*
HTML 4 (or XML) DTD.  Attributes like <Q>align=center</Q> (which pretty much
sums up the difference between transitional and strict) are clearly the
domain of CSS.  This is a pretty high standard!

> 3.5 Use header elements to convey document structure and use them
> according to specification. [Priority 2]  For example, in HTML, use H2 to
> indicate a subsection of H1.  Do not use headers for font effects.

For the record, this means one cannot use H2 before H1 (unless the H2 item
is a sub-item of a previous H1 item), nor H3 without first using H2, etc.
This rule makes sense for long documents, but sometimes your main point is
in the middle of a relatively short page.  AA compliant documents do not
allow this -- unless you mark up H2 with CSS to make it appear bigger than
H1, but isn't that tag abuse too?  Also, must all pages start out with H1?
I know many sites that use H1 only on the home page, and then begin other
pages with H2.  Is this a violation of 3.5?

> 3.7 Mark up quotations.  Do not use quotation markup for formatting
effects
> such as indentation. [Priority 2]  For example, in HTML, use the Q and
> BLOCKQUOTE elements to markup short and longer quotations, respectively.

The Q element is (still) not rendered by the most current versions of IE and
NN, so it seems counterproductive to advocate this technique too vigorously.
This checkpoint has no "until user agents" clause.  A strict reading of this
also means that ANY page that uses a quotation mark (" or &quot;) is not
Double-A.  Is that what we mean?

> 7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement
> in pages. [Priority 2]

Okay, no animated GIFs.  Mostly eye candy anyway, but I am not aware of how
mundane moving images cause real accessibility problems.

> 8.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly
> accessible or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if
> functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise
> Priority 2.]

As I understand the current state of the art, for AA compliance, this means
NO JavaScript and NO Java.  Am I correct?


-- Bruce Bailey


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of David Poehlman
> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 10:33 AM
> To: wai-ig list
> Subject: [Fwd: Addition to the Record of the House Judiciary
> Subcommittee Hearing on Internet and ADA by Gregg Vanderheiden]

[snip]

>> The appropriate EITAAC report item for web access is:
>> 5.3.3.1 Web content shall conform with level 'Double-A', satisfying
>> all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints

[snip]
Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2000 14:49:05 GMT

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