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RE: A Call to Reorganize WCAG 2.0

From: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 07:33:27 -0400
Message-ID: <1A729C6059E7CD4CA1DFE3985E6004210623AE0C@fth-ex02.CVNS.corp.covansys.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Jesper Tverskov wrote:

> I fail to see that the above is important since most of 
> accessibility like usability can't be automatically 
> "measured" but need to be manually tested and evaluated.

And that is exactly why, when developing a web application, usability
testing is the first thing that gets cut out of the budget. Like
usability, accessibility is a common-sense approach. Web pages should be
built with these things in mind, not as an afterthought.

Accessibility can certainly be automated, if it approached from a
semantic standpoint. For example, lists of links should be marked up as
unordered lists. Certain elements should have ALT and TITLE attributes
attached.

Perhaps accessibility validation should encompass the whole of the web
page. What I mean by this is that a designer or developer should follow
this process:

1. Validate HTML
2. Validate CSS
3. Validate Accessibility
4. Measure Usability

In step 3, we are testing the structure of the Web page, which fits in
nicely with the rest of the W3C technologies.

Most designers actually test their pages in a browser without style
sheet support in order to check accessibility. If the page displays
logically and works within Opera without CSS and Javascript, it's going
to be a very accessible web page.

Testing for accessibility needs to be as valuable, and as easy, for the
designer/developer as validating HTML and CSS. 

----------
Randal Rust
Covansys Corp.
Columbus, OH
Received on Tuesday, 24 August 2004 11:34:00 UTC

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