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RE: examples of sites with good accessibility

From: Eadie, David <D.Eadie@gcal.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 16:36:30 +0100
Message-ID: <09FFF345110913458F1C9D8850F41D6002C5E31F@EXCHANGE.enterprise.gcal.ac.uk>
To: "Christopher Hoffman" <christopher.a.hoffman@gmail.com>, <Anna.Yevsiyevich@kohls.com>, "WAI Interest Group list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

On Friday, Fri 20/10/2006 20:05, Chris wrote re the website www.gap.com <http://www.gap.com> : 
"The site uses a CSS layout which linnearizes nicely, has alt attributes for all of its images, and includes "skip navigation" links so keyboard users can move straight to the actual page content. It seems to be a good effort at accessibility, though on closer inspection there are some problems: 

 1) The alt attributes are often meaningless (e.g. "what to wear now").
 2) The site uses an image map.
 3) The skip navigation links refer to their targets by their physical location. "Side navigation" and "top navigation" are utterly meaningless if I can't see the whole page at once in a graphical browser."
I don't want to appear to be encouraging criticism of anyone, or organisation, who is striving to develop an accessible website. However, I would be unhappy if Anna were to consider that this website exhibited, as Chris wrote, "a good effort at accessibility". 
In addition to the problems noted by Chris, I tried 3 basic tests on 1 web page (Women in the navigation bar), all of which failed viz:

	It claims to be XHTML 1.0 Strict, yet it did not pass the W3C's XHTML validation test.
	It uses CSS, yet it did not pass the W3C's CSS validation test.
	It does not allow the resizing of text to accommodate any user who has a slight visual impairment - I use glasses to read and had left them in another room, so I wanted to increase the text size in Internet Explorer, but couldn't.

Whilst there are more tests which should be conducted on this website, I fail to see how, given these 6 problems, it could ever be considered to have made "a good effort at accessibility".
>From a Business point of view this latter problem could, and probably will, result in a loss of potential customers who when the web page's textual content fails to resize will simply surf to a competitor's website.
In my humble opinion there needs to be an agreed set of minimum requirements which should be met before a business-oriented website is considered to have made "a good effort at accessibility".  The problem would seem to be the formulation of a universally agreed set of minimum requirements.
Received on Saturday, 21 October 2006 15:36:49 UTC

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