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WWAAC Project Recommendations

From: Colette Nicolle <c.a.nicolle@lboro.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 13:12:22 +0100
Message-ID: <B840B1F37BD35E4685E6D2F03F9E9AF10AD88B@mondeo.esri.org.uk>
To: <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Cc: <wwaac-staff@handicom.nl>

Dear all,

The WWAAC project (World Wide Augmentative and Alternative
Communication) focuses on guidelines for a World Wide Web that is more
accessible by people with complex communication needs who use graphic
symbol-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) - see

The project has now completed its recommendations and you can find the
whole report (with the appendices as a separate document) at:

You will find the most relevant sections for WCAG are: Executive
Summary, Section 6 (Issues in developing guidelines), Section 7 (WWAAC
Recommendations for WCAG 2.0), and Conclusions.  

In summary - A number of issues were discussed with experts within and
outside the consortium: whether to have one site for all or two
alternative sites, the conflicting needs of users, simplicity of
content, summaries of content, top loading, tagging images, navigation
mechanisms, and search engines. Discussions on these issues have helped
to form a basis for guideline development and have led to the following
recommendations, with rationale based on the WWAAC project's user
requirements and evaluation work.  These recommendations are proposed as
success criteria, examples and strategies to be included in the W3C Web
Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) draft Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG 2.0):

Recommendation 1:  Provide a clear representational image on the site's
home page. 

Recommendation 2:  Alt tags should provide prime information for the
user, and should distinguish between salient (most prominent) and
non-salient content.

Recommendation 3:  Provide simple page descriptions as metadata.

Recommendation 4:  Add clear in-page link such as 'Skip-to-content' near
the top of the page (as some Web developers already do).

Recommendation 5:  Consider the number, location and focus of links on a

Recommendation 6:  Provide a progressive complexity for both site and
page content, so that people with different abilities may be able to
obtain information from the same Web site.

Recommendation 7:  Use static, rather than dynamic, content for critical
parts of the Web site.

Recommendation 8:  Consider a change of priorities in the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines to reflect the findings of the Disability
Rights Commission report (2004).

We hope these will provide some food for thought in developing further
drafts, and we would be interested in your comments.

Best regards,
Colette Nicolle (for the WWAAC project)

Research Fellow
Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute (ESRI)
Loughborough University
Holywell Building
Holywell Way
Loughborough, Leicestershire
LE11 3UZ

Switchboard: +44 (0)1509 283300
Direct Dial:    +44 (0)1509 283369
Email: c.a.nicolle@lboro.ac.uk
Received on Wednesday, 19 May 2004 09:46:35 UTC

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