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RE: 2.4.4 WITH PDF'S

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 11:47:09 -0700
To: Chris Reeve <chrisreeve15@yahoo.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CC: "gv@trace.wisc.edu" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Message-ID: <5076E68FCD2E91428C2479984A81E1147B572E6721@NAMBX01.corp.adobe.com>
Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'll take a crack at this one.

1) If a visited site already complied with 2.4.4 do I need to comply?
There response is that "I have not obligation under WCAG 2.0 to ensure that where I link to is accessible."

I agree with that response.  As much as every accessibility-minded web developer would like to be king of world and mandate that other's sites are fully compliant, that is not reasonable to expect.  Developers need to worry about their own sites as far as compliance goes.

There are reasonable things to do that may help if you have the time.  It is always good to advise users if you know that the resource is not accessible to some users, for example if you are linking to a document that was scanned and offered as a TIFF file. However, WCAG 2.0 does not require this.

If I have link to a  downlodable document that was split into multiple documents:
2) Link to the page providing the PDF's. It is more benefical if the page already provides the format  and/or other offers downloads in other formats. It is also more benefical when a document comes out with a new release, rather than linking to the same PDF document, leaving my visitors with a broken link.

This is a confusing question - is the document split into multiple PDFs? I'll assume that you mean "link to the page providing links to the different versions of the same document". If you are linking to a document that is hosted on another site and that site offers the document in multiple formats then you should link to the page that shows all of the links to the different file types.  This isn't required by WCAG 2.0, but is a good practice.

If you are linking to a PDF file that isn't offered in alternative formats, you can link to an external page that contains a link to the PDF file or you can link to the PDF file directly, there is no compliance implication here.

As far as WCAG is concerned, you can link to anything you want to - you do not need to assess the accessibility of the site you are linking to.

3) Can I link to HTML/text version and ignore file type and file size?
Their response is "Yes".

And you've also been advised several times that you can link to a PDF or ODF or SWF or any other format of file and ignore file type and file type.  WCAG 2.0 does not require the addition of such information, but you are welcome to add this information if you feel that it is helpful to any users, including ones without any disability.

Does WCAG/WAI Working Group agree with any of these opinions that have been obtained from an independent source?

I don't speak for the WCAG working group, but as a member of the working group I've provided my feedback here and these are the points that I would make if this were a working group discussion on the questions you raise.

Received on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 18:47:57 UTC

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