WCAG 2.0 Comment Submission

Name: Rich Caloggero
Email: rich_caloggero@wgbh.org
Affiliation: WGBH NCAM
Document: W2
Item Number: (none selected)
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: GE
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
 I think 2.0 is bloated, and hard to understand. I can see on the one hand why it might need to be a bit more weighty than 1.0 because its scope is much wider (other formats besides HTML are considered). However, what they have come up with is exceedingly complex, convoluted, and not very comprehensible. Its not going to make promotion of accessibility any easier or more practical. In fact, it may have the opposite effect; people will avoid it like the plague, because they don\'t understand it, and they don\'t have time or energy to bother trying!

 I\'m not sure exactly what this means in practical terms. I see large corporations saying \"we don\'t have time to deal with this\", and the \"little guys\" just won\'t be bothered at all.

Proposed Change:
 I think that instead of trying to incorporate all technologies and all \"disabilities\" into one large framework, WAI should consider breaking it up by technology (HTML/web, PDF and other stand-alone \"document\" formats, etc). Of course, then we get into issues like \"well when will w3c address my xxx format\", but I think format-specific accessibility issues  and techniques for addressing those issues are complex enough to warrent being addressed separately.  There might also be a more general introductory document that tries to unify things a bit by highlighting the general accessibility issues common among all formats.

Breaking things down by disability might be useful, but again thorny issues arise like \"why hasn\'t the w3c addressed the needs of people with xxx disability\".  Realistically, however, most accessibility issues relate to people with vision and hearing loss. Many solutions which address people with these disabilities will also address the needs of people with mobility impairments (input device independence).  People with learning disabilities can also bennefit from guidelines not explicitly written for that group: if pages can be used via screen reader, then other intermediary software could use the same information to present the document in a way more conducive to folks with LD.  In effect, making something usable by someone using a screen reader means that it is written in such a way that a software entity (in this case, a screen reader) can act as an intermediary in a way that preserves all the ritchness and semantics of the original document. If this is true, then we should be able to replace the scren reader with another software agent aimed at helping LD folks.

Again, the points here are that the spec is too bloated and complex because its scope is too wide. Any kind of modularization, either as outlined above, or by breaking it down some other way, is good.

Received on Friday, 26 May 2006 20:11:51 UTC