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RE: bobby compliant

From: Michael Cooper <mcooper@cast.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 10:53:26 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NCBBJOMIELMIDGCAPFCIEEIKDOAA.mcooper@cast.org>
Hi - Michael here with the CAST perspective on the "Bobby Compliant" thread.
I agree completely with the issue raised here - that "Bobby Approved" does
not always mean accessible, and many sites incorrectly view it as such.
Bruce outlined a number of reasons for this, and I'll add that "Bobby
Approved" is based on passing the Priority 1 checkpoints. Most of us believe
that a site that is largely accessible should pass the Priority 2
checkpoints as well. Bobby checks for those but it isn't part of getting the
icon.

We are in the process, in fact, of writing a disclaimer about this - "Bobby
Approved" does not guarantee accessible. In fact, though we think we've done
a good job in Bobby, we can't even guarantee that a site has passed the WAI
checkpoints Bobby has evaluated, since Bobby is an _interpretation_ of the
checkpoints. Given the new Section 508 requirements in the U.S., and
litigious American culture, CAST more than anyone else does not want people
to be confused about these issues.

I think Bobby is a useful tool to speed along the process of making a site
accessible, and that is really how it should be used (and is the way people
in this forum use it, I think). The "Bobby Approved" stuff really comes out
of CAST's educational focus, encouraging users who bring their site to a
certain level, stuff like that. I think we do need to take under advisement
that it isn't being perceived just in that way and figure out a better way
to approach that goal.

By the way, on use of the Bobby Approved icon - I agree with many of you
that it isn't very attractive. We've had a designer do a new one which we'll
release shortly as an additional option, but many of us believe it is worse,
so don't get your hopes up! We're going back to square on on that whole
thing, and I think the W3C icons accomplish the goal better for many
purposes right now. Also, on linking the icon to a dynamic Bobby report to
the page in question, I think it's a cool idea, and this context (seeing how
the page does _right now_) is another reason to do it. The reason we haven't
is the Bobby server is running at full capacity and we are afraid of
overloading it if we do that. We continually improve its capacity and if we
get it to a point that we think it can handle the load, we'll offer the
feature.

Michael

Michael Cooper
Bobby Project Manager
Technical Designer
CAST, Inc.
39 Cross St.
Peabody, MA  01960
Tel +1 978-531-8555 x265
TTY +1 978-538-3110
Fax +1 978-531-0192
Email mcooper@cast.org
http://www.cast.org/
http://www.cast.org/bobby/
Received on Monday, 5 February 2001 10:54:34 GMT

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