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RE: CSS Techniques for WCAG 2.0

From: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 08:09:14 -0400
Message-ID: <1A729C6059E7CD4CA1DFE3985E6004210623ADDE@fth-ex02.CVNS.corp.covansys.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Jesper Tverskov said:

> Since most of the guidelines and checkpoints of WCAG 1.0 have 
> been transferred to the "techniques" in the proposal for WCAG 
> 2.0, I find it dangerous that the techniques seem to talk 
> about anything, are without authority or power, there is no 
> ambition of being Best Practice, no focus, no drive no direction.

> I fear that the proposal for WCAG 2.0 will leave us with a 
> huge vacuum making it very likely for all kinds of national 
> and local accessibility guidelines to proliferate. In a few 
> years we will see more than 150 national "Sections 508" and 
> all sorts of local accessibility guidelines will pop up.

Jesper, this is exactly what has been going through my mind for the past
few months. The other thread dealing with PDF and Accessibility only
strengthens this viewpoint.

The problem with WCAG, from the start, is that some of the guidelines
were ambiguous. The majority of developers and designers don't
understand them. It is much easier to understand a recommendation such
as XHTML 1.0 than WCAG 1.0 (or 2.0).

Everyone on this list advocates accessibility. Some are more extreme
than others in their passion, but I think that we all recognize the
benefits. 

The problem is, once you go outside this realm, there are few people who
actually care about WCAG and accessibility. Every project I work on is
in the public sector, and all of them have accessibility guidelines. But
you know what? The client never cares. They never do testing, and if
it's in the budget, it's one of the first things to get cut out.

Personally, I think that what should be done is to modify WCAG 1.0 as it
is. Not do a total rewrite, which is what 2.0 appears to be. I'm not
even sure what good it does to have a CSS Techniques document anyway.
Isn't that what the CSS 1 and 2 Recommendataions are for?

Accessibility is a great concept, but too many people involved in this
list and the WAI group put too much emphasis on its importance. I
certainly understand why they do it, but the reality is that in the
course of developing a Web application or content-driven site, those who
care anything about accessibility are in the minority. And it's a very
small minority. It also includes the general public; the users of these
Web-based delivery systems.

WCAG needs to be practical and measurable. And measuring results needs
to be simple, just like validating markup. Otherwise, we will have
exactly what Jesper suggests -- 'a huge vacuum.'

----------
Randal Rust
Covansys Corp.
Columbus, OH
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2004 12:09:46 UTC

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