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RE: Accessible content management system

From: Ian Sharpe <isforums@manx.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 11:35:04 +0100
To: "'Terry Dean'" <Terry.Dean@chariot.net.au>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1E9882283FF4BD58F2EEFA0B809A7CE@sharpyPC>
Hi Terry

As mentioned previously, I personally do not view accessibility solely in
terms of conformance. And at the risk of being branded a heretic, I
personally would also like to see this view more widely accepted..

I personally feel that now too much emphasis is being placed on conformance
alone and the use of automated tools to validate whether a site conforms to
relevant guidelines in order to meet any legal obligation rather than to
necessarily improve the "accessibility" of a site,  online service or web

I would like to see authors taking a step back to look at how they can
ensure their site or application is as usable as possible for their target
user group and use the various guidelines, techniques and strategies
promoted by this community to meet this objective and ensure that it is

Running validators against any site or service is all well and good and
certainly will help authors to identify potential areas of concern. However,
automated tools will never be able to tell you whether the site is actually
usable for all the members of a site's target audience.

I was directed to another W3C document on strategies for testing
accessibility when I raised this point in a recent thread. This recommended
authors / developers engage users with a range of disabilities early on in
the development of a site or online service and work with them to identify
potential problems which goes a long way to address my particular concerns. 

However, I personally don't feel enough emphasis is placed on this approach
and feel that it would be very helpful if organisations used the
accessibility statement on their site to clearly explain what they have done
in order to address accessibility, particularly in terms of user testing,
the combinations of UA, AT, platform and device used to test the site, the
combination that resulted in the most effective results and how to address
any known outstanding problems.

I believe this would have many benefits, not only to potential users by
managing their expectations and providing useful information on how to
actually use the site with AT, the best browser to use etc, but also to the
organisations who I feel would gain credibility for the efforts they have
made and feel it would also go a long way to addressing a very commonly held
perception that organisations just don't care and are only really playing
lip service to accessibility 

I know not all users will have access to the various combinations of
technology that a site may have used to test their site but if we
recommended a minimum requirement of using open source AT and most popular
platforms, most users would be able to decide whether they spent the time
installing any additional products in order to use the site if their normal
configuration didn't work. I think just being told how to address any issues
in order to use the site, or what kind of experience a user should expect in
itself would help to reduce the frustration a lot of users feel, myself

If this formed part of the recommendations for compliance with A, AA, or AAA
conformance I feel this would make a significant step in improving web





-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Terry Dean
Sent: 05 August 2011 07:12
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessible content management system

Hi Ian,

A website built with nested tables is usable too but I thought this
discussion was about accessible CMS's?

What CMS would you suggest conforms to the W3C's "Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines? And at what level of conformance?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Sharpe" <isforums@manx.net>
To: "'Terry Dean'" <Terry.Dean@chariot.net.au>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 9:20 PM
Subject: RE: Accessible content management system

> Hi Terry
> Thanks for your feedback. However, while I understand your skeptisism, I
> take a slightly more pragmatic view regarding accessibility as perhaps can
> be seen in other posts.
> I totally understand and support the use of validators to give us an idea 
> of
> whether a site is likely to be particularly accessible or not and can be
> very helpful to provide feedback to site authors, it does not follow that
> any site that  does not validate or produces a mass of potential issues is
> not usable.
> Indeed, the very fact that there are blind people successfully
> administrating Drupal sites to me at least suggests that with the
> appropriate knowledge and experience, it is usable.
> I would also add that I am very aware that accessibility is not just about
> blind people which I know can be a sensitive subject but hope that people
> understand I merely use this as an example, and primarily because as 
> someone
> with a visual impairment, it is the one with which I personally am most
> familiar. Just because a site may be usable by a blind person with a 
> screen
> reader does not mean it is usable by people from other disability groups 
> or
> minorities.
> Cheers
> Ian
Received on Friday, 5 August 2011 10:36:24 UTC

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