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Re: Accessibility tests of Australian University homepages

From: Christopher Hoffman <christopher.a.hoffman@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2007 01:08:22 -0400
Message-ID: <61682a40705082208x299804eqf57268a53c91ddea@mail.gmail.com>
To: Tim <dogstar27@optushome.com.au>, "WAI Interest Group list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

On 5/8/07, Tim <dogstar27@optushome.com.au> wrote:

> This is my first post, but I am a bit of an accessibility vetran, a
> political activist even at testing government and educational websites
> for accessibility and then displaying the results for the public to
> see. Any critical comments on my work are most welcome.

Umm.... it looks like for US$895 you will run a Web page through W3C
and CynthiaSays.com validators
(http://www.hereticpress.com/Dogstar/Publishing/Rates.html#accessreports).

> ...some universities have supported my work, others refuse to
> acknowledge me and claim I am being aggressive in these reviews. Is
> there a better way to go about promoting accessibility?

Well, there are things like working to promote Web standards and
accessibility through groups like the W3C and WASP, as well as giving
site owners good reasons to spend the time and resources to make their
sites more accessible. The arguments don't even have to be directly
related to accessibility. For example, standards-based sites are
generally easier and less costly to update and maintain, with better
accessibility as a side effect.

> Through this page in the last two weeks, I have managed to get
> three Universities to improve their homepages for W3C validity, but not
> much movement yet on accessibility.

As I said above, giving me, as a site owner, good reasons to invest in
an accessible Web site would probably go a lot further toward
convincing me to "move on accessibility" than listing tags, attributes
and features that my site is missing or deficient in.

> 64% of Australian Universities passed Priority One WCAG 1.0
> accessibility tests.
> 11% of Australian Universities passed Priority Three WCAG 1.0 Checlists

That's really depressing, but it's just another instance of something
that everybody on this list already knows: that the vast majority of
Web sites out there are severely lacking when it comes to
accessibility. Tests and checklists are great tools for designers and
developers, but they aren't going to persuade site owners.

Best,

Chris
Received on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 05:08:28 GMT

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