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RE: Who needs what Re: A Call to Reorganize WCAG 2.0

From: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 10:05:14 -0400
Message-ID: <1A729C6059E7CD4CA1DFE3985E6004210623AE10@fth-ex02.CVNS.corp.covansys.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> (How do you validate accessibility if you can only measure usability?)

We don't measure usability. It's always in the original project plan,
and it gets tossed out as soon as the project budget gets crunched. The
same with accessibility. Would you like to know how most clients have us
validate accessibility? If we are using Dreamweaver and templates, then
we validate the templates with BOBBY. If the templates pass, then we're
good to go. There is not content within the templates, but the client
doesn't care. They aren't about to spend the time to check every single
page, in every possible state, for accessibility or usability.

> I trust, then, that you have a tools which will take the 
> instructions to  
> Validate HTML, then check the CSS, 

I was referring to individual HTML and CSS validators, not one tool.

> I think that at least recognising it as a list 
> it something I could rely on any person I would employ to do.

But in an environment where web pages and applications are built, people
are not paid to sit there and check for unordered lists, because they
don't care how the job gets done, they only care that the application
works or that the web page is viewable.

> > Testing for accessibility needs to be as valuable, and as easy, for 
> > the designer/developer as validating HTML and CSS.
> 
> Here is where we fundamentally disagree. In my opinon, testing for  
> accessibility needs to be as simple as possible, so long as 
> it results in  
> useful and accurate information.

I think that we are saying the same thing, Charles. Maybe where we have
a difference is in the definition of 'useful and accurate.' In my
opinion, 'useful' means that I can take the results and make a business
case for accessibility to my bosses. I understand the benefits, but they
don't. If I can't make the argument in dollars and cents, they won't
care.

> > 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.
 
> That seems like a bold claim.

This is how I test every single one of the applications or sites that I
build. A lot of others do it this way too. Anyone who has implemented
the Fahrner Image Replacement Technique does this as well. You have to
in order to see it work.

> I think what is most important is that testing for 
> accessibility be a  
> process that is clear enough taht developers can make content 
> accessible. 

Content is not structure. Content is what is contained within the
structure. What developers have to make accessible is the structure of
their pages, so that the content within is logical and accessible.
Accessibility has as much to do with logically and correctly structuring
a web page as anything. 

----------
Randal Rust
Covansys Corp.
Columbus, OH 
Received on Tuesday, 24 August 2004 14:05:45 UTC

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