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

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 13:54:15 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFD8578543.E044C3D6-ON86256E76.0065866B-86256E76.0067D810@us.ibm.com>
>>     From: Judy Brewer <[14]jbrewer@w3.org>
>
>> We were concerned that an impression was building -- unsupported by 
data --
>> that the WAI Guidelines did not address the majority of the problems
>> experienced by people with disabilities on Web sites.
>
> Joe's reply:
> ... It is entirely accurate to state that the Web Content 
> Accessibility Guidelines, the *only* "WAI guidelines" considered by the 
> DRC, do not address them.
>
>The DRC did not claim to evaluate anything other than WCAG.

But, although perhaps "accurate" in its claim,  I agree the DRC study & 
report is misleading if it did not also consider UAAG and ATAG as the 
complete set of "WAI Guidelines".  It is very inaccurate to use the term 
"WAI Guidelines" (upper or lower case G) when only referring to WCAG. My 
scan of the report found the occurrence of the term "WAI Guidelines" 4 
times.  Although the report defines "the guidelines" as WCAG 1.0, it 
incorrectly and misleadingly introduced the term "WAI Guidelines" when 
still only referring to WCAG.  However, my point is not so much the 
technical terms used or not, the fact that the study didn't also consider 
the UAAG and ATAG is unfortunate and misleading misleading,   Perhaps we 
could form a "commission" and determine who to blame, but let's learn from 
what I consider a shortcomings and encourage or demand that future studies 
include a more holistic view of all of the guidelines.

Perhaps it is not W3C/WAI's fault that only WCAG seems to find itself in 
policies and legislation, perhaps the advocacy groups and policy makers 
have some responsibility to understand that the complete set, all three 
documents, together when adhered to provide for actual access by people 
with disabilities. And, as Judy said:

"There is a wealth of interesting policy recommendations in the report, 
as well, addressing issues such as the need for increased training, 
improved evaluation practices, and more access to up-to-date assistive 
technology for people with disabilities -- things which provide an 
essential supporting context for achieving Web accessibility, 
but are so often overlooked."

Regards,
Phill Jenkins
IBM Research - Accessibility Center
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 14:54:53 UTC

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