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Re: Updated Mobile-Accessibility documents

From: Tom Worthington <Tom.Worthington@tomw.net.au>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 14:58:44 +1100
To: achuter@technosite.es
Cc: "EOWG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>,MWI BPWG Public <public-bpwg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20081028232541.EA9B625A9D@heartbeat2.messagingengine.com>

At 08:42 PM 24/10/2008, Alan Chuter wrote:
>Thanks for your feedback on this Tom... I think that Shawn assumed 
>that reviewers would have read the introductory document first. ...

Sorry, but I was reading the document as given. This is the way the 
typical reader would see it.

>... The purpose of the documents is to show the ways that by happy 
>coincidence each can and does help the other. ...

This is not a coincidence, as clearly the original WAI guidelines 
were intended to apply mobile devices: " ... a small screen, or a 
slow Internet connection. ... not have or be able to use a keyboard 
or mouse ...  be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands are 
busy or interfered with  ... a different browser entirely, a voice 
browser, or a different operating system. ..." 

>The purpose is to guide implementers to avoid duplicating work who 
>may otherwise assume that the recommendations are disjoint when they 
>are not. ...

The recommendations are disjoint: you have to read two documents and 
then another which tries to tell you where the two documents you just 
read say the same thing.

Why not instead have one document with one set of general 
accessibility guidelines, then two supplementary sets of material 
with addition techniques for disabled users and mobile phones?

I realize that it is difficult enough to get one working group to 
agree on something, let alone two. But then if this was easy, we 
wouldn't need you experts.  ;-)

More seriously, having spent some of the last eight years being an 
expert witness on web accessibility (starting with the 2000 Olympics 
case), a web consultant and teaching web design to university 
students, I have found that linking ideas of accessibility for the 
disabled and  mobile devices works well.

Commercial customers are generally not interested in web 
accessibility for the disabled, but are willing to have it as a 
byproduct of mobile phone access. Students do not like to have to 
learn two sets of guidelines for web design, but like the 
mobile/accessible approach. This seems to have filtered through to 
the Australian Government, which has done better 
<http://australia.gov.au/> than the US Government has <http://www.usa.gov/>.

Having said all that I will let you get on with standards making.

ps: Of course this might all be about to be undone by Web 2.0.  ;-)

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  
Received on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 23:26:37 UTC

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