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Re: The future of WCAG – maximising its strengths not its weaknesses

From: GF Mueden@ <Mueden@>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2013 12:31:30 -0500
Message-id: <50EC57F2.2000706@verizon.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Well put, N\Bob. "setting standards it is great until it meets the real 
world." The real world made up of users with specific disabilities and 
the accessibility priesthood of W3C, WAI, etc., offers them little help. 
The Guidelines have help only for the expert who knows where to find it 
and what he finds is not in plain English but in W3 speak.

For instance, my one eye is ten inches from a fourteen inch wide screen. 
I need a narrow column of copy. I get it by minimizing the screen, 
pulling in the margins, and having word wrap to keep the copy on the 
screen, if you let me, which doesn't always happen, even at sites that 
ought to know better. This limited visual field is a recognized 
disability addressed in the guidelines, but so well hidden that nobody 
but the experts know about it, and the fix and accommodation I have just 
stated in plain English are not there.
Until the accessibility priesthood talks about fixes and accommodations 
for specific disabilities and does it in plain English, the users will 
not be well served.

Nor will we be well served until the big guns of software, Adobe, 
Microsoft and Google, provide us with a feedback facility direct from 
the offending page to the designer. They have very bright people doing 
dumb things that could be stopped early with built-in feedback. For 
example, Microsoft's "Ease of Access" page in Win7 is itself 
inaccessible, not allowing easy enlargement. Crazy. On Win7's opening 
screen the mouse pointer is so insignificant that I often lose it. It 
should be high contrast and larger.
Provision for feedback should be universal.

George gfmueden@verizon.net

On 1/8/2013 11:07 AM, accessys@smart.net wrote:
> WCAG 2.0 is a well researched and thought out document, and like just 
> about every document setting standards it is great until it meets the 
> real world.
> the feed back I have heard is mostly in two catagories.
> 1. I don't/can't/won't understand it, it is over my head, way too 
> complicated etc etc. part of this stems from the fact that websites 
> are now being made more and more often by the lesser trained people 
> who are becoming webmasters.
> The web is being used much more casually and has a lot more "do it 
> yourselfers" involved.
> The commercial webmaking products for the "Do it yourselfer" or mostly 
> glossing over the or even ignoring access. or it is in a seperate 
> "chapter" that many just skip over. it is still not mainstream.(our 
> work/fault)
> 2. The users are not keeping up or understanding or being involved 
> enough in the creation of the document, the testers being used are for 
> the most part fairly computer literate and don't adequately represent 
> the true nature of the population that needs and/or uses the output 
> documents and websites.
> I try but am still guilty of the above. but rather than placing blame 
> how can we find a way to make this document understandable to the 
> "masses" and how do we get it used by even the most inexperienced part 
> time webmaster, the single enterperneur who along with running a 
> business full time also maintains their businesses website..
> unfortunately more questions than answers. but I believe that rather 
> than tinkering with the current document, we spend our time making 
> this document, flawed though it may be, understood and used WORLD WIDE 
> not just among the computer literate but making the users of computers 
> literate in what it means and how it is accomplished.
> just my couple pennies thrown into the pot
> Bob
> On Tue, 8 Jan 2013, Dr Jonathan Hassell wrote:
>> Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 10:03:51 +0000
>> From: Dr Jonathan Hassell <jonathanhassell@yahoo.co.uk>
>> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>> Subject: [windows-1252] The future of WCAG ~V maximising its 
>> strengths not its
>> weaknesses
>> Resent-Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2013 10:04:15 +0000
>> Resent-From: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>> 2012 was a year of real ups and downs for WCAG 2.0.
>> It�s finally become ratified as an international Standard. It�s been 
>> included in legislation in Europe, Canada and the USA.
>> At the same time it�s also had its value questioned by academic 
>> research, and the achievability of its AAA level questioned by some 
>> voices in the accessibility community. Calls for it to be updated are 
>> becoming louder and louder. And frameworks like BS 8878, in which 
>> WCAG 2.0 can be more successfully integrated with the practicalities 
>> of real-world web product development, are gaining support in the 
>> commercial and academic worlds.
>> So, with the growing movement for WCAG 2.0 to replace national 
>> standards and thus harmonise accessibility standards globally, it's a 
>> good time to review WCAG 2.0's strengths and weaknesses, what 
>> strengths other national standards have that it may lack, and what 
>> might be needed to make it a much better 'harmonised Standard' for 
>> the future.
>> Read my blog at http://www.hassellinclusion.com/2013/01/wcag-future/
>> And please let me know (on the blog, or here on the WAI list) what 
>> you think...
>> Is WCAG overdue an update? Or is it more important to have a stable 
>> standard than keeping it up with the latest web trends?
>> Best regards
>> Jonathan
>> -- 
>> Prof Jonathan Hassell
>> Director, Hassell Inclusion
>> Blog: http://hassellinclusion.com
>> Twitter: http://twitter.com/jonhassell
Received on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 17:32:30 UTC

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