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

From: Geek Chic <geekchic@geekchic.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 15:49:15 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <43462.>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Well, it seems to me that arguing over the difference between 'accessible'
and 'usable' isn't going to get us anywhere because there is overlap
between the two.

We can define what is automatically testable and what is not, though.  We
can definitely test if every image on a page has an alt attribute
automatically.  And we know that if an image doesn't have an alt
attribute, it's not accessible.  So, whether or not the alt attribute is
appropriate, step one towards accessibility is, does every image have one?

So could we define level 1 accessibility as having satisfied all the
automatically testable criteria, and then level 2 as the most important
human-intervention criteria, and so on?

I totally sympathize that irrelevant/wrong alt text is not accessible, and
for full accessibility you will always need a human being.  but I also
sympathize with those in the trenches who are struggling just to get Web
developers to know what an alt attribute is, let alone why they should use

<img src="dog.jpg">
<img src="dog.jpg" alt> (I just looked at some code yesterday that had
this one)
<img src="dog.jpg" altt="dog">

There's a lot of accessibility problems that can be eliminated by
automated checking, and automated checking at least pushes people to know
a little bit.  Maybe this is naive but it would be nice to give people a
little gold star for at least getting to that first stage.

Ok, rip me to shreds.


> --On Wednesday, August 25, 2004 10:16 AM -0400 RUST Randal
> <RRust@COVANSYS.com> wrote:
>> Again, accessibility and usability are not the same thing.
> I agree. To me accessibility refers to web page information/content
> being obtainable and functional to largest possible audience. It is
> about providing access to information for those who would otherwise
> lose their opportunity to use the web. In contrast inaccessible means
> unobtainable, nonfunctional.
> Usability is the art and science of designing systems or sites that are
> effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant and easy to learn.
> Usability and accessibility seem to be often confused. Some believe
> that a usable site is accessible and vice versa. The two are not
> exclusive, but it is important to understand the difference. Usability
> means that a Web site is intuitive and easy to use. Accessibility means
> a Web site is as barrier-free as possible.
> Accessibility and usability are closely related, as they both improve
> satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency of the generic user
> population. But while accessibility is aimed at making the website open
> to a much wider user population, usability is aimed at making the
> target population of the website happier, more efficient, more
> effective.
> Laura
> ___________________________________________
> Laura L. Carlson
> Information Technology Systems and Services
> University of Minnesota Duluth
> Duluth, MN  55812-3009
> http://www.d.umn.edu/goto/webdesign/
Received on Wednesday, 25 August 2004 23:18:47 UTC

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