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RE: Action Item: Investigate wording for possible third class agent for conformance section

From: <thatch@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 10:35:03 -0500
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
cc: "Denis Anson" <danson@miseri.edu>, schwer@us.ibm.com, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <852567DF.00559DF9.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

The Home Page Reader conformance question has the following parts:

(1) Checkpoints address features we do not support. We say n/a. Because HPR only
supports text (supports no multimedia or graphics), we have entered n/a for
priority 1 items like 5.1-5.11, etc. If this is not a valid reason for "n/a"
what is?

(2) HPR is an agent targeted for users with disabilities who rely on speech and

(2A) The visual user interface is irrelevant in this product.  Although I wrote
"no" in 6.1-6.6 (low vision items), I should have written n/a.

(2B) Similarly, I entered "no" to 1.1, because there are things you cannot do
with the mouse, in fact you cannot do them without speech. It really is n/a
because keyboard input and speech output are the supported I/O. (You must use
the keyboard and speech output to use the settings menu. )

(2C) All the standards and conventions checkpoints (12.*) are not applicable to
HPR. If an assistive technology is to interact with a user agent, it should not
be interacting with a targeted agent. We are an assistive technology; 12.* is to
accommodate assistive technologies.

(3) We have issues with some priority 1 checkpoints. We can't conform (priority
1) as a DUA because we do not comply with 7.3 (nor support its priority) -
render according to natural language identification.

(4) Finally there are checkpoints that we believe should apply to us and that we
fail. Checkpoints 1.2 (interact with all active elements) and 5.8 (turn on/off
support for scripts) are not met by HPR because HPR does not support active
JavaScript elements, and you cannot turn off JavaScript (our startup process
involves JavaScript). That is an acknowledged weakness of HPR. Interestingly, we
might place this non-conformance into (1) above, and claim we do not support
JavaScript, therefore 5.8 and failure of parts of 1.2 are n/a.

Jim Thatcher
IBM Special Needs Systems

Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu> on 08/31/99 03:38:06 PM

To:   "Denis Anson" <danson@miseri.edu>, Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
cc:   w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject:  RE: Action Item: Investigate wording for possible third class    agent
      for conformance section

I would like to clarify my view of conformance:

1. The two current sub groups came out of a need seen by the group to
develop minimum standards for commercial mainstream browsers and plug-ins
like Netscape Navigator, Microsft Explorer, Opera and multi-media
technologies for accessibility. A second need seen by the group is to
indicate the types of additional features for technologies like specialized
browsers and other types of "assistive technology" that provide advanced
features to access to web content to persons with severe disabilities that
is currently beyond the scope of current browser technology (i.e. speech,
refreshable Braille).

2. Part of what the priorities of the checkpoints need to indicate which
checkpoints are currently more important and therefore should be developed
first.  The priorities of checkpoints for the different sub-groups are not
normative and could change over time as technology changes.  Some
checkpoints could even have different priorities in each sub-group
(currently there are none).

3. Part of the work of testing the guidelines is to determine what
chekpoints work for which technologies.  What we want is more usable
interfaces for people with disabilities and that should be our focus.  So
while assistive technology being compatible with other assistive technology
is a great goal and would help people with mulitple disabilities is it the
first thing we want AT developers to consider right now, or are other
checkpoints more important.


At 08:40 AM 8/31/99 -0400, Denis Anson wrote:
>This proposal would be fine were it not for the fact that people with a
>primary disability (such as blindness) sometimes also have a secondary
>disability, such as physical movement restrictions, that must also be
>accommodated.  If a targeted user agent provides only native conformance for
>the issues that are considered to be pertinent to that disability (or more
>appropriately, functional level), then it may not support the adaptations
>required for the secondary disability.
>Primarily, there are two components of access: input and output.  Most of
>the targeted user agents are built around adaptations of output to a
>different format: Braille or voice, for example.  Rendering video with
>captioning deals with auditory output.  But even those with output
>restrictions can have input restrictions, such that they cannot use the
>standard keyboard/mouse interface, and must use an alternative input method.
>All user agents should support external assistive technologies so that both
>input and output can be modified as needed.
>Denis Anson
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of schwer@us.ibm.com
>Sent: Monday, August 30, 1999 4:47 PM
>To: Jon Gunderson
>Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
>Subject: Re: Action Item: Investigate wording for possible third class
>agent for conformance section
>After considerable thought on this on really believe section
>needs to define a third class of agent called a "Targetted Agent." Targetted
>agents like Home Page Reader and PWWebSpeak are user agents that are
>to a specific disabilities group or groups. They are not designed to work
>or provide access to features that an unrelated asssitive technology should
>need. In particular, the definition of "Native support" required:
>"for dependend user agents states that Native support does not preclude more
>extensive support for accessibility by dependent user agents, so user agents
>must still make information available through programming interfaces."
>This means that if a targetted agent renders a document visually it needs to
>support a DOM and expose all the API to another assistive technology for the
>purposes of enabling access by different user agent technologies or
>groups not intended by the targetted agent. When doing our Home Page Reader
>Evaluation and when assessing future Home Page Reader product requirements
>found numerous conformance checkpoints that were non-applicable for the
>To change the wording in section 3.1 I would suggest the following:
>The terms "must", "should", and "may" (and related terms) are used in this
>document in accordance with RFC 2119 ([RFC2119]).
>To promote interoperability between graphical desktop user agents and
>user agents and between graphical desktop user agents and targetted agents
>conformance to this document is expressed in terms of these three types of
>Conformance for graphical desktop browsers
>In order to conform as a graphical desktop browser, the user agent must
>all the checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to graphical
>desktop browsers and do so natively.
>Even for those checkpoints that must be satisfied natively, graphical
>browsers should make information available to other software through
>interfaces (e.g., specialized dependent user agents may provide a better
>solution to a problem than a graphical desktop browser).
>Conformance for dependent user agents
>In order to conform as a dependent user agent, the user agent must satisfy
>the checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to dependent
>agents and do so natively.
>Conformance for targetted agents
>In order to conform as a targetted agent, the user must satisfy all the
>checkpoints (for a chosen conformance level) that apply to targetted agents.
>Targetted agents are graphical desktop browsers targetted to a specific
>The difficulty here will be deciding what checkpoints apply to what
>Does such a list exist?
>Rich Schwerdtfeger
>Lead Architect, IBM Special Needs Systems
>EMail/web: schwer@us.ibm.com http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/rich.htm
>"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
>I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.",
Received on Wednesday, 1 September 1999 11:35:50 UTC

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