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Re: A question of interpretation

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 23:37:16 -0400
Message-ID: <000c01c37683$aabca930$6501a8c0@handsontech>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Tina Writes:

In short:

    - Should conformance / accessibility reviews be performed ONLY with
      the listed tools ?
David responds:

I have never known the w3c to state in any fashion that the guidelines be
tested for by one tool or another.  In fact, if you look at the list of
tools, you will see on that page that the wai does not by listing them imply
endorsement or specify that they are the only tools that can be used.  This
is a paraphrase, but knowing that there are many tools out there and also
many people testing by not using tools is sufficient to bare this out and
also the fact that the w3c does not require it only recommends should also
bolster this premise.  I am certain that others will state this much better
than I have here.

Tina further writes:

    - Should the WAI WCAG checkpoints be re-interpreted based on perceived
      technological differences from region to region ?

David responds:

This puts me in mind of section 508 from the us law.  When section 508 was
being developped, the wcagv1.0 had already been developped and those who
participated in the developments of the *standards* for the web portion of
section 508 standards felt that they could not sanction the adoption as a
whole of the guidelines so adopted them in part with an explanation of the
differences between the web portion of the standard and the wcagv1.0.  Even
so, this caused a lot of confusion and during the development of the
standard, there was a lot of discussion of how and under what circumstances
w3c recommendations were to be used.  You may be able to find some of this
discussion in the archives of this list.

All of that is to say that if an entity decides to adopt a policy that
tailors a set of guidelines toward a particular set of circumstances, this
is a rite but must be clearly labeled as such so as not to be confused with
the guidelines and it would be prudent where the guidelines are part of the
requirement that it is clearly stated that this is the case.  This does not
imply that the guidelines are being tweeked or tampered with but that the
guidelines are being used as a part of pokicy.

I for one would like to hope that at some point, the world can unite behind
one set of impartially produced set of guidelines so that we don't have a
thousand sets of guidelines, standards, policies, requirements... to deal
with.  It makes the job of developpers and evaluators unnecessarily
difficult.
Received on Monday, 8 September 2003 23:37:21 GMT

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