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RE: Section 508 and websites

From: Michael Gaigg <mgaigg@esri.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:57:50 -0700
To: Ginger Claassen <ginger.claassen@gmx.de>, Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
CC: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <232B5217AD58584C87019E8933556D11011ED5862A@redmx2.esri.com>

I don't know of any website or collection of websites that you were asking for - can I ask what you want to learn from them?

I understand your question twofold:

1.) Why do I need to go through the pain and make my site 508 compliant?
2.) Is an accessible site, i.e. Section 508 compliant, usable?

Ad 1) Because it's the law (for federal developments). It's like traffic laws - one has to obey them. It's a pain to learn them and it's even more painful to follow them, but in the end it allows all of us regardless of our heritage, upbringing, language etc. to safely drive together on the same streets.

Ad 2) Obtaining a driver's license doesn't make us better drivers. By following traffic rules will not help us to find our way to our destination, there is more: Usability. Do Heuristic Tests (expert testing) or User Testing to find out and enhance your site. Writing 'restroom' in Braille won't be useful for somebody who is looking for the men's restroom, right?

Michael Gaigg

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ginger Claassen
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 6:58 AM
To: Christophe Strobbe
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Section 508 and websites

Hi all,

I know this might be a bit off topic but hopefuly anyone here can help 
me. I am looking for a website or maybe a few which are sec 508 
compliant and not at all accessible or usable. I heard somewhere that 
someone compiled a list of these sites and would like to reference one 
or two of them in a report telling people that 1 to 1 compliance without 
expert testing is not really good and will not necessary end up in a 
compliant and usable result.

Thanks in advance for your efforts!

Kind regards


Christophe Strobbe wrote:
> At 11:34 20/03/2009, Harry Loots wrote:
>> Mery
>> Characters outside the seven-bit ASCII range should be encoded. If 
>> characters
>> are not encoded then it may lead to mis-representation in the host 
>> browser -
>> thus an inter-operability failure.
> I disagree. You only need entity references for characters that have a 
> special meaning in markup, as David Dorward pointed out.
> Of course, you need to make sure that the encoding you use the create 
> the document matches the encoding used in the HTTP headers that the 
> server sends with the document (e.g. Content-Type: text/html; 
> charset=utf-8). An incorrect match is a common cause of 
> misrepresentation of text in the browser. Users can only correct this 
> misrepresentation if they know how to change the encoding in the 
> browser (e.g. "Character encoding" in the "View" menu in Firefox). I 
> assume that most ordinary users don't know this.
> If it were true that every character outside the seven-bit ASCII 
> range, then millions of web pages in writing systems other that Latin 
> would be encoded incorrectly.
>> It is not irrelevant to accessibility as lack of inter-operability 
>> may lead to
>> inaccessible pages.
> It would be more precise to say that it is a problem that affects 
> every type of user; it's not specific to people with disabilities.
>> You can find more information here:
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/sgml/entities.html
>> http://www.entitycode.com/
> Best regards,
> Christophe Strobbe

Ginger B. Claassen
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33100 Paderborn

Tel.: +49 (0) 5251 / 147 9282
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Received on Friday, 20 March 2009 16:58:59 UTC

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