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Re: W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Statement on Web Access Report from UK Disability Rights Commission

From: John Colby <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 10:50:53 +0100
Message-ID: <107DE25EC0216C45AEF670016024245F022A6E28@exchangea.staff.uce.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Let's just look at some of the facts and results rather than the inter-organisational politics.
The DRC study has put accessibility and websites on the map in the UK Undeniable - it's been on national TV!
So what if the findings contradict the WAI guidelines by omission or commission - these are guidelines and need modification an adaptation - the fact that there's a version 2 under discussion proves this.
Maybe the WAI guideline are too loose or too tight - Joe Clark has mentioned this in the recent past and has said they're sometimes unworkable (if it wasn't Joe who said this, apologies)
Some of the WAI guidelines are difficult to interpret. Do they need changing? Maybe. I have difficulty with some of them, understanding as well as interpreting. Maybe it's the language in which they're expressed.
No tool like Bobby, Cynthia, A-Prompt or whatever test is going to be 100%. You have to have users. I'm very, very fortunate. At my Uni we have people running the RNIB Rehabilitation Masters course, and I count them as friends. Maybe they don't count me so much as a friend as I keep pestering them :) They have provided me with an unending stream of information.
But no one has said what people SHOULD do from the ground level - only what they're doing wrong. I teach web programming from a standards point of view and get students to validate code for standards and accessibility - marked down if they don't. As far as I can see no one emphasises this in plain words, apart from webstandards.org by association.
So please can we - everybody - get off the politics and denial and onto improving information of 'what to do' and not 'what's wrong'.
John Colby
School of Computing and Information
University of Central England
Perry Barr
Birmingham UK
B42 2SU
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 05:51:45 UTC

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