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Repository software conformance to WCAG2 and ATAG2?

From: Sarah Currier <s.currier@intrallect.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 10:22:31 +0000
Message-ID: <45F7CCE7.1060709@intrallect.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Dear all,

I have been investigating the possibility of providing a conformance 
statement for WCAG 2.0 (if and when it is eventually ratified) for our 
product, intraLibrary.  IntraLibrary is an application that allows 
organisations to collaboratively manage learning objects via the Web.  
In effect it is a kind of content management system, although the 
learning objects held in it may or may not eventually be made available 
on the Web (they may, for instance, be distributed via a CD-ROM or 
delivered directly in the classroom on a screen or in a printed 
handout).  The extent to which intraLibrary may be considered an 
"authoring tool" is that you can create metadata for a resource, and you 
can export a resource as an IMS Content Package (where it wasn't 
previously) with such metadata.  You can also export metadata on its own 
as an XML file.  Apart from that, we just store content for sharing, we 
don't actually allow any modification of the content within our tool.

I have two issues re conformance to the new guidelines which I am 
finding it difficult to get answers to- I hope someone here can help.

1. IntraLibrary is not "web content" in the old sense of WCAG 1.0- but 
the new guidelines are supposed to cover web content and applications.  
I think an instance of intraLibrary is a "web unit".  However, we are 
not allowed a conformance statement that "horizontally" excludes certain 
content from the statement.  In our case we would need to say that 
intraLibrary's baseline is X, and that we conform to Level X, and that 
this conformance statement excludes content held WITHIN intraLibrary 
(obviously we can't police content held by current and future 
customers).  We need to be able to state which URLs or range of URLs DO 
conform and we can't do that.  Content held in intraLibrary can be 
previewed in various ways within our interface, but we don't and can't 
control the nature of that content- that is up to our customers after 
they have purchased the software.

2. You would then think - well it's because intraLibrary is a piece of 
software that is a tool- perhaps using ATAG 2.0 would be better- the 
first part of it relates to WCAG 2.0.  Surely the conformance of a tool 
doesn't have to include the content used IN the tool... except- it's 
supposed to ensure that content produced from the tool DOES conform 
(which we don't do- you could easily import then export a package or 
resource from intraLibrary that didn't conform, as there is no means 
within intraLibrary to modify content).  It's not even definite that a 
LO repository is an authoring tool as far as ATAG is concerned- it's on 
the very outlying boundary of the definition, and until I found the 
conformance problem listed above I was on the verge of ditching it as 
something we had to consider.

I wonder if (a) anyone from WAI had any comments or advice and (b) 
anyone else had come up against similar problems and what they have done 
about it.

At the moment I am assuming we will simply need to provide some kind of 
accessibility statement that is NOT a WCAG/ATAG conformance statement 
that will assist our customers with determining their baseline and 
creating their own conformance statement including the content they make 
available with intraLibrary.

(BTW we are committed to accessibility and have developments planned for 
our new v3.0 due out this summer that will take care of a couple of 
outstanding accessibility issues we have).

Thanks and regards,

Sarah Currier
Product Manager, Intrallect Ltd.

2nd Floor, Regent House
Blackness Road
EH49 7HU
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 870 234 3933    Mob: +44 (0)7980855801
E-mail: s.currier@intrallect.com 
Received on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 10:23:14 UTC

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