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Political use of the guidelines

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 09:55:18 -0500
Message-Id: <199809281456.JAA10839@staff2.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
This is not the appopriate list for discussing legal issues related to the
W3C UA guidelines.  The W3C releases recommendations, and does not have any
enforcement mechanism to legally force any comapny to use it's
recommendations.  We want use our resouces to focus on improving the
accessibility of WWW technology and not directing our limited resources
trying to predict any future political use or non-use of the guidelines by
any country.  Remmember our group serves on behalf of the W3C advisory
group.  If they feel the guidelines are being politicized, they would
probably review our charter.

The chair and editor,
Jon


At 10:39 PM 9/27/98 -0700, Scott Luebking wrote:
>Hi,
>Let me give a little background on why I brought up my suggestion on
>a statement on inaccessibility in the guidelines.  I'm not sure if the
>subject has been brought up with other people on this list, but
>several people have been talking to me about the work the access board
>will be doing on 508 and technology access.
>
>My impression is that Congress has assigned the task of determining what
>accessible technology means to the access board to reach various objectives
>of 508.  Since the browser is a key piece of current technology, it is
>not unreasonable to assume that the access board may have to define what
>accessible browser/s is/are.
>
>What I've been asked on a couple of occassions is whether the guidelines
>can be used to define parameters of an accessible browser.  My point
>has been that currently the guidelines are just guidelines but do not
>necessarily define what an accessible browser is.
>
>The question becomes what organization is best qualified to say what is
>an accessible browser.  I believe that this group is probably more
>qualified since the technical knowledge is so specialized.  A suggestion
>I've been toying with for the guidelines is an appendix listing what
>features should be included when some law/regulation requires that an
>accessible browser be specified or defined.
>
>The issue has some similarity to determining what blind access means in
>an elevator.  From what I was told, some elevator developer(s) took
>positions that blind access was not their responsibility or that they
>should have the right to determine the degree of accessibility since it
>was going to affect their bottom line.  Also, why do elevators have
>redundant coding in both raised numbers and braille?  The blind people
>who prefer raised numbers may have told elevators developers that raised
>numbers were only needed.  Braille users may have demanded braille or
>they would not consider  the elevator to be accessible.  Also, there
>seems to be no provisions in elevators for blind people with neuropathy.
>
>Scott
> 
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
Received on Monday, 28 September 1998 10:56:31 UTC

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