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Re: UA conformance issues

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 11:57:19 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0008141150440.31615-100000@tux.w3.org>
I think it is extremely desirable for Universal Design to be the obvious
aproach to meeting the requirements, and that it is extemely desirable that
it is the approach taken by developers. If somebody has to get special parts
to meet their needs, then it isn't really the same as picking a product off
the shelf.

That said, the requirement is that people can use a user agent regardless of
disability. If a browser comes in a version that is not accessible, and is
available in a version that is if you get a "non-standard, accessible
version" it makes a mockery of any developer's commitment to total
accessibility (and says nasty things about their design approach to some)
but it doesn't mean that there isn't a solution available to people who need
one, which is the ultimate goal. There are of course considerations like
partial upgrades - it would be insane not to point out that a particular
combination will actually solve people's problems, just becuase it doesn't
all come in the one box. (Although it would be perfectly reasonable to
enquire just when this combination would be available in one box...)

I think that we do not do ourselves a service byb forgetting our most
important goal is that everyone can use the web. The fact that everyone can
use any browser is slightly secondary - there will always be bad products as
well as good ones. People should not be forced to use junk, and we should be
able to provide the best solution available to people, in whatever form that

Charles McCN

On Mon, 14 Aug 2000, Jon Gunderson wrote:

  I talked to Denis Anson this weekend about the conformance issues discussed 
  at the last UA telecon.  His first reaction is that he doesn't see a 
  problem with developers using add-ins or other supplementary techniques for 
  a product to conform to the UA document, as long as they are clearly 
  documented.  I am going to raise this issue with the coordination group 
  tomorrow to get additional input for the group to consider.
  Some of my additional thoughts/questions:
  1. We have said for other issues that people can do something poorly 
  (usually a usability problem), but still conform to the guidelines.  This 
  may be another case where ideally (from my perspective) accessibility 
  features required for conformance should be part of the standard 
  configuration.  If a developer chooses not to include any or all 
  accessibility features as part of the standard configuration, but does 
  provide and document other components needed for compliance that would seem 
  to technical satisfy the conformance requirements.
  2. My biggest concern is the issue of universal design, where features for 
  people with disabilities are considered different than for other 
  people.  The more general approach to a conformance statement seems 
  sanction the different type of thinking.  I am not sure if is the purpose 
  of the UA group to promote the universal design approach to accessibility 
  or just accessibility in any form.
  In any case I will raise this issue for discussion with the CG group.
  Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
  Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
  Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
  College of Applied Life Studies
  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
  WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Monday, 14 August 2000 11:57:22 UTC

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