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"Wish List" for Accessibility

From: Eric Hansen <ehansen7@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 07:53:26 EDT
Message-ID: <20000629115326.17697.qmail@hotmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Date: 29 June 2000, 7:42 hrs
To: UA List
From: Eric Hansen
Re:  "Wish List" for Accessibility

Following is my "wish list" for accessibility. These are issues that, if 
resolved, would make our current job of finishing the UA guidelines easier 
and help us to it better. Most of these are issues that I have brought up 

1. Clarify the level or levels at which accessibility claims can/must be 
made: page, product, presentation, element.

2. Establish in WCAG mechanisms for pairing pieces of content (essential for 
documenting equivalence claims).

3. Fix the WCAG requirements to allow/require content developers to 
designate that a piece of content is: primary vs secondary (check usage) 
and, if applicable, for what profile of technologies and disabilities. This 
is what is really necessary to fully turn on and off the "alternative 
content". Otherwise the user agent cannot recognize it all.

4. Establish an ontology for accessibility information (Semantic Web).

5. Refine the definition of multimedia. Catalog their diversity. Establish 
standard descriptors or modifiers.

6. Refine the definition of non-text elements and text elements. Develop a 
taxonomy of elements.

7. Refine the definitions of auditory descriptions, collated text 
transcripts, captions. The current ones are not so much wrong but are 
incomplete. The are based on the limiting assumption that the Web is a 
visual/auditory medium. That assumption needs to be challenged.

8. Define primary/secondary(alternative). This distinction ought not be made 
haphazardly. Unfortunately the usage of terms like equivalent alternative or 
alternative equivalents makes making such definitions harder.

9. Refine the definition of equivalent.

10. Insert the concept of "message" as part of the "function" that 
equivalents are attempting to fulfill.

11. Consider possibility that CTT may be interactive or have links to 
further resources. If it does, then the CTT may be indistinguishable from an 
"alternative accessible page"

12. Refine definitions of viewports, etc., and their linkages to 
equivalents, objects, tracks, channels, output devices, etc.

13. Revisit the concept set of reference disability groups. One reason 
important to establish reference groups -- so that one can establish for 
which group(s) a given piece of content is to be "primary versus secondary" 
(check usage).

14. Relate the distinction between multiple media vs multimedia to the 
notion of standalone vs compementary tracks.

15. Break away from the assumption of the Web as only a visual/auditory 

16. Define what kinds of interactivity are possible within a single 
equivalent. Imagine some of the unusual kinds of multimedia presentations 
that we have discussed (interactive with links, or static HTML page with 
audio, or almost anything). Make a collated text transcript. Make captions 
(which may be very, very simple -- so simple that it moves manually). That 
is that way to treat a multimedia presentation. Now compare how you would 
construct an alternative, accessible page. Compare the equivalents for the 
multimedia presentation and the alternative accessible page. They are 
essentially the same.

17. Reconsider whether alternative, accessible pages should be discouraged.

18. Write an exposition on considerations that Web content developers should 
make in determining whether to claim something as a multimedia presentation. 
Outline which kinds of things (i.e., movie-like things) must almost always 
be treated as multimedia presentations and which things need not necessarily 
be treated as such (things that are very nearly audio-only presentations and 
visual-only presentations; interactive sequences of static pages; manually 
or automatically scrolling text; blinking text etc.). Web content developers 
need to suite their claims about what kind of presentation(s) it is and be 
able to justify it in terms of the definition of equivalent (fulfillment of 
function, including effectively communication of message).

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Received on Thursday, 29 June 2000 07:53:58 UTC

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