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Re: Summary of UAGL Conformance Issues

From: Kitch Barnicle <barnicle@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 08:42:08 -0500
Message-Id: <199909291344.IAA26299@trace.wisc.edu>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Ian,

Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough summary.
I'd just like to mention that I have some concerns
about how consumers will use the guidelines.
I've snipped most of your message to focus on this
topic.

>Goal 2) The Guidelines should list requirements for
>accessibility so that consumers can make informed decisions
>about which tools will meet their needs.

While I do hope that the guidelines will be informative to
consumers, I would not suggest that individual consumers
use the guidelines as a purchasing guide, at least not
in their current form. We have already said that even
if a product conforms to the guidelines it does not 
mean that the product is fully accessible and in fact
may still be inaccessible to particular users or user
groups. I am afraid that if a consumer sees the statement,
"This Product Conforms to" they may believe the 
product will work for them, when it may not. 


What I would like to see from this group or the EO group
is something like "Tips on Choosing a User Agent" based on 
the guidelines. We probably will need to create separate statement
that explains, from a consumer perspective, what it means
for a product to conform to the WAI guidelines.
As you stated below in Issue 2, rather than
feel we are limited to "suggesting what features to look for",
that may be precisely what we want to do.

>In short: general guidelines may not help consumers in search
>of specialized tools (except by suggesting what features to
>look for in solutions that require general tools as well).

Keep in mind that while some consumers may be looking
for the "optimal" assistive technology/browser combination,
more often then not, their assistive technology must also
work well with word processing, email and other applications.

I don't want to get side tracked on this issue but I thought
it was worth mentioning.

Thanks,
Kitch
Received on Wednesday, 29 September 1999 09:44:07 GMT

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