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Recommendations from City University on the WAI Guidelines

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 12:42:27 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601c422d6$59e62fe0$440bc650@tversdata>

I have read the DRC report,

http://www.drc-gb.org/publicationsandreports/report.asp,

and even though I am very critical about the WAI guidelines myself for many reasons, I have not been able to find just one important thing in the report not already taken care of by the WAI guidelines more or less.

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The report says:

FINDING 5: Nearly half (45%) of the problems encountered by disabled users when attempting to navigate websites cannot be attributed to explicit violations of the Web Accessibility Initiative Checkpoints. Although some of these arise from shortcomings in the assistive technology used, most reflect the limitations of the Checkpoints themselves as a comprehensive interpretation of the intent of the Guidelines. City University, as a contributor to the Web Accessibility Initiative, has drawn conclusions from this evidence about potential improvements to the Guidelines, and these are summarised at Appendix 2.

RECOMMENDATION 15: The Web Accessibility Initiative should give serious consideration to the proposals by City University at Appendix 2 of this report for extending the scope of the Guidelines to address limitations identified in the course of this investigation.

..........

APPENDIX 2
Recommendations from City University on the WAI Guidelines

The Guidelines should provide better coverage of information architecture and navigation design issues in relation to accessibility by making recommendations that will:
•	reduce the number of links and ensure that genuine and necessary links are clearly identified as such 
•	avoid site fragmentation: navigation mechanisms should be consistent (eg in appearance and behaviour), the relative importance of different sections (across the site and within pages) should be apparent, mark-up languages should be used to indicate the structure of pages 
•	preserve links to the Home page 
•	improve search design 
•	eradicate excessively deep site structures; and ensure that page titles are informative.

In addition, the Guidelines should place special emphasis, in the form of elevated prioritisation, on the following matters already covered:
•	the need to divide blocks of information into more manageable units
•	the need to ensure that foreground and background colours have sufficient contrast
•	the need to provide a text equivalent for every non-text element
•	the need to avoid creating pop-ups and new windows without informing the user
•	the need clearly to identify the target of each link
•	the need to use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for the site’s content
•	the need to ensure that pages work when scripts and applets are not supported
•	the need to avoid movement in pages until they can be frozen.

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Please inform me what in "Appendix 2" of the report is not already taken care of in the WAI Guidelines? I don't remember "preserve links to the Home page", probably because it is too obvious to mention, but for the rest it is more or less in the guidelines at least implicit. The problem could be that most web sites are so bad, that it is not enough to tell them to use page titles but also that if they use them they should be meaningful. Some of the recommendations are not priority A issues and should probably be.

Please give us more arguments and examples of what you want with most of the above recommendations. Should they be promoted from AAA and AA to A, or should they be spelled out more clearly, or implemented in some sort of quantitative why making them easier to test, and do you have some ideas for how it could be done?

Cheers,
Jesper Tverskov

www.SmackTheMouse.com
Received on Thursday, 15 April 2004 06:34:19 UTC

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