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Re: Minority Opinion: UAAG 11.1 (Double-A Documentation)

From: Janina Sajka <janina@afb.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 10:17:42 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
cc: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.21.0010191013310.13959-100000@helen.afb.net>
I would agree with Gregory. But, I want to offer yet another reason.

If triple a comploiance AAA, is meaningful, then it should be
required. Surely, defining three levels of compliance was not an idle
academic exercise. As Gregory notes, access to documentation is
critical. So, if the WAI believes in its own work, it should support it by
requiring that it be implemented.



				Janina Sajka, Director
				Technology Research & Development
				Governmental Relations Group
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

janina@afb.net


On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

> OBJECTION: WCAG Conformance Level Cited in UAAG Checkpoint 11.1 Too Low
> 
> The current checkpoint 11.1 (29 September 2000 Draft) reads,
> 
> Ensure that at least one version of the product documentation conforms to 
> at least Level Double-A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 
> [WCAG10]. [Priority 1]
> 
> Although I am encouraged that the WCAG conformance level defined as the 
> minimum for satisfying this checkpoint has been raised from Level-A to 
> Double-A, I still believe that Double-A conformance is, in this instance, 
> manifestly insufficient, as documentation is the cornerstone of 
> accessibility.  It should be incumbent upon UA developers to ensure that at 
> least one version of the product documentation conforms to Level Triple-A 
> of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, as many of the most commonly 
> used conventions utilized in software documentation (such as abbreviations 
> and acronyms) are only accorded a Priority 3 in WCAG, but whose utility in 
> deciphering documentation is indispensable.
> 
> RATIONALE:
> 
> There are several reasons for holding documentation to the highest 
> standards possible.  Two of the most important are:
> 
> 1. When one runs assistive technology in conjunction with "mainstream" 
> applications, one must constantly guard against potential conflicts between 
> the two, not only in terms of shared hardware, but shared resources (such 
> as dynamic link libraries). If the "mainstream" application changes a 
> hardware setting or overwrites a shared resource, one's adaptive equipment 
> may suddenly stop functioning, causing system crashes, loss of data, 
> corruption of key files, damage to essential hardware, etc.
> 
> 2. For many demographic groups, the concept of "learning by perceiving" is 
> utterly meaningless, because they are physically or cognitively incapable 
> of obtaining the gestalt view of the application, the intuitiveness of 
> which is the key to the success of the graphical user interface (as well as 
> its greatest inherit deficits).
> 
> Therefore, while documentation and README files may not be widely used by 
> the general populace (at least according to the prevailing wisdom, which is 
> itself derived from the rhetorical question, "Who here reads documentation 
> before running or loading a new application?"), both are considered 
> essential components of any application by the quote disabled unquote user.
> 
> Unless a disabled user can be assured that he or she has access to a 
> Triple-A compliant version of the complete documentation provided for the 
> application, the product cannot be deemed "accessible".
> 
> Likewise, if a company fails to ensure that any online documentation, 
> automatic update features, and download-and-install routines (1) follow the 
> accessibility guidelines cited in the UAAG Techniques document, and (2) 
> comply to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at a Triple-A level, 
> that company's should not be allowed to claim conformance to the User Agent 
> Accessibility Guidelines.
> 
> Furthermore, if a company makes a composite conformance claim, it has an 
> obligation not only to ensure that the third-party applications--which, in 
> conjunction with the user agent, comprise the subject of the conformance 
> claim--comply with the UAAG themselves, but that any third party's web site 
> (especially if it is necessary to download the third party helper 
> application directly from its developer's web site); as well as any update 
> routines; the installation procedure; first-run registration dialog boxes; 
> and the accompanying and online documentation all be as thoroughly 
> accessible as possible. (This extends to third-party installation 
> applications/routines utilized by any "mainstream" user agent, as well, 
> even if it is not cited as part of a composite conformance claim.) A 
> composite claim can only be considered valid if all of the components of 
> the composite conformance claim rise to the same level of 
> accessibility--namely, that outlined both in the UAAG and the UAAG 
> Techniques document, as well as the platform- and technology-specific 
> guidelines cited in the UAAG Techniques document, hence my minority opinion.
> 
> Gregory J. Rosmaita
> ------------------------------------------------
> The optimist thinks that this is the best of all
> possible worlds; the pessimist knows it is.
> ------------------------------------------------
> Gregory J. Rosmaita     <unagi69@concentric.net>
>        Webmaster & Minister of Propaganda
> The Visually Impaired Computer Users' Group of
> the New York City Metropolitan Area (VICUG NYC)
>       <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
> ------------------------------------------------
> 
> 
Received on Thursday, 19 October 2000 10:07:58 GMT

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