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Re: Accessible content management system

From: Karl Groves <karl@karlgroves.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 11:04:20 -0400
Message-ID: <CABScKPA=sxNM6u+9BtmTzc0HYf1JhusNgFYA-RuXd5BcvNx84A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Andy Heath <w3@axelrod.plus.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM, Andy Heath <w3@axelrod.plus.com> wrote:

> Karl,
>
> Your comments about the usefulness of automated testing tools seem to be
> valid and correct to me.  I do have a problem with the comment below though
> ..
>
>
>  The second thing I'd like to comment on is the notion that compliance
>> with guidelines does not mean a site is accessible. To be frank, I'd
>> like to see data that backs this up.  In my opinion, if you've tested a
>>
>
> Isn't this a little like arguing that say one drove a car from A to B and
> it didn't break down therefore it never will ? Testing is only ever going to
> reveal properties around what one is testing for and not whether there are
> properties outside the scope of the tests that fail.
>
> The problem as I see it is with limited expectations.  "I've met the
> guidelines therefore I've "done" all I need to do". I am reminded of the
> anecdote told on one BBC Ouch radio programme that Liz Carr told about not
> being able to reach the counter in a post office and being informed "Well we
> meet the Disability Guidelines" - the implication being "you *should* be
> able to reach".
>

But you're correlating "limited expectations" with "compliance with
guidelines is still not accessible".  Therein lies the problem.  Limited
expectations is very definitely not compliance with guidelines.  How many
individual conformance checks do you do when testing for SC 1.1.1?  I do up
to 36 individual checks for 1.1.1 depending on the features and
characteristics of the system I'm testing.    If conformance to the
guidelines does not equal accessible then the guidelines or conformance
approach is flawed.



> To my mind human beings are much richer than machines can ever model and to
> fall back on the idea that the model we use represents the reality is a
> cop-out and in many cases an excuse for some other agenda which may have
> more to do with business goals than any claimed truth.  I have no problem
> with that, its the real world here and there *are* real constraints but lets
> be honest here and stop pretending we've done everything that could be done.
>  We haven't.
>

To borrow a phrase from earlier in the thread: "At the risk of being branded
a heretic", I don't think it is practical for us to do "everything that
could be done".

When I worked for SSB BART Group, all inbound calls to our toll-free number
rang to me.  In addition to making AMP and doing accessibility consulting,
SSB also does a lot of JAWS scripting.  One day, a call came in from a guy
asking if we had an updated script to Tax Act. During the course of
conversation, he mentioned that he was using JAWS 4 (current version at the
time was JAWS 9).   Should a company be required to accomodate every user
with every disability and combination of disabilities using every possible
assistive technology?   Unless I'm reading your message wrong, that does
appear to be what you mean by "everything", and my response would be that we
definitely should not be doing everything that can be done.

Organizations should be making careful, deliberate, and informed decisions
about what they can reasonably do to meet the needs of as many people as
possible. You cannot endanger the existence of an organization by imposing
unreasonable (and I would argue impossible) demands on them.  As a
consequence, they have to make a decision about what is enough.

While we both probably agree that many (nay, most) organizations aren't
doing enough for accessibility, I take issue with the notion that they
should be expected to do "everything that could be done".

Karl
Received on Saturday, 6 August 2011 15:04:47 GMT

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