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From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 19:12:45 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9812151901080.6043-100000@tux.w3.org>
The summary conclusion in the minutes includes the statement that 3.1.1 is
too vague to be a technique.

I do not recall this ever being decided by the group. I think that at one
point it may have been suggested that this was the case by an individual,
and it was suggested to me in private converstaion by an individual.

I do not regard the technique (following the proposed modification which
changes the requirement from redundant meansof control to
device-independent means of control) as even slightly vague. It can be
checked explicitly by the following test:

For each function provided by the User Agent (changing font, activating a
link, selecting text, changing rate of speech, decreasing tolerance of
key-bounce, determining how often headers are repeated in linearised
tables, etc, as applicable to the User Agent in Question) is it possible
for the control to be activated in a device independent manner? If there
is an API, or a control feature for which the OS always provides
alternative access, the answer is yes. If there is a hardware-specific
mechanism, for which there is no API, the answer is no.

It is a wide-reaching guideline, which is very important to ensure
accessibility of a User Agent. It probably should be modified to take
account of whether the User Agent makes an API available or whether it is
constrained to certain hardware. But then, a touch screen information
kiosk, with no voice output or tactile feedback, is not accessible. Which
is not the same thing as saying that it cannot serve a need, merely that
in nearly all circumstances it is not a total solution to that need.

--Charles McCathieNevile -  mailto:charles@w3.org
phone:(temporary) +1 (617) 258 8143  http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative -  http://www.w3.org/WAI
545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, USA
Received on Tuesday, 15 December 1998 19:12:46 UTC

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