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WCAG 2 Comments

From: Rick Hill <rrhill@ucdavis.edu>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 16:52:29 -0700
Message-Id: <C185266E-640B-404C-9432-15651031A6B4@ucdavis.edu>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org

I for one do not have the time to read all of the WCAG 2 documents in  
the 30-day review time-frame that has been provided.  Having read Joe  
Clark's comments at http://www.alistapart.com/articles/ 
tohellwithwcag2 and http://joeclark.org/access/webaccess/WCAG/ as  
well as postings at http://technorati.com/tag/WCAG2.  If only 10% of  
the issues that are identified on these sites are true, then WCAG 2  
is NOT ready for prime time.  If it is true that web pages that meet  
WCAG 2 need not be valid HTML/XHTML then that is utterly contrary to  
the concept of web standards and is a HUGE step in the wrong  
direction.  I would hope that the WCAG 2 standards build on and  
enhance the standards of WCAG 1 that many of us have worked hard to  
promote in our work places.  Other comments:

1. The provision to define a technology as a “baseline,” is not  
useful unless there is either some way to make sure that the  
technology is inherently accessible and/or that there are provisions  
to provide alternate technologies to provide accessible versions of  
the content where the baseline technology fails.

2. Being able to define entire directories of your site as off-limits  
to accessibility  should only be allowed when the content cannot be  
made accessible.

3. The compliance "levels" do not seem to have become simpler.   
Perhaps more cryptic.  And I would like to see a move toward  
enforcible standrads rather than merely guidelines (as in what was  
attempted with the language of 508).

4. You can’t use offscreen positioning to add labels (e.g., to forms)  
that only some people, like users of assistive technology, can  
perceive. Everybody has to see them.

5. Source order must match presentation order even at the lowest  
level ... why?

6. It would seem that WCAG 2 proposes maintaining separate accessible  
and inaccessible versions of the same pages.

Again, I wish I had the time to drop my day-to-day tasks, stop  
pushing for web standard design in our environment (including  
accessible design) and devote my time to being able to read an  
comment on the final WCAG 2 draft. However, the comments from folks  
in the know and in the filed have not been encouraging.  So, I  
decided to drop a line and express my concerns and fears.  SInce it  
took years for the committee to reach this point, it would seem a  
slightly longer review period to allow comment is in order.  And one  
would hope, if the public (those folks working to promote accessible  
design) have real concerns about the standard, then the committee  
needs to regroup and address those concerns, not publish a set of  
guidelines that will not be accepted or used in practice ...

Rick Hill, Webmaster

Academic Computing Services
College of Engineering
1035 Academic Surge
Davis, CA 95616-5293

Office:  (530) 752-1616
FAX:  (530) 752-4465
Email:  rrhill@ucdavis.edu
Web:  http://engineering.ucdavis.edu

Received on Thursday, 1 June 2006 01:52:21 UTC

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