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Re: reply to the review of Issue ID: 2059

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:30:47 -0800
Message-ID: <824e742c0712111530i26805e86h97c066115716fc46@mail.gmail.com>
To: "aurélien levy" <aurelien.levy@free.fr>
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org

The WCAG WG would like to create lists of accessibility supported
technologies. However, W3C Process requires that Working Groups only
do work within the scope and timeframe of their charter. A list of
accessibility supported technologies would require frequent updates to
be useful, and could be damaging to the market if it were referenced
but not maintained. For this reason even a sample list, that is not
expected to be maintained, is problematic. It is unlikely that the
WCAG Working Group will be chartered indefinitely into the future to
maintain such a list, and therefore cannot make any commitments to
create such a list.

Even if the WCAG Working Group were chartered to maintain lists of
accessibility supported technologies, W3C Process also requires that
we take a vendor neutral stance. Any lists of technologies that
included non-W3C technologies would effectively be an evaluation of
those technologies and violate the W3C's vendor-neutral position.
Lists that are limited to only W3C technologies, however, would be of
limited utility.

It is true that there are potential issues with companies creating
lists that may be inaccurate, and not all platforms being covered by
the list. The position of the Working Group is that policy and the
market should address this situation. If a list is inaccurate or
suggest to authors they can use technologies that are not widely
supported, it will have low credibility and won't be used. In some
jurisdictions the organization responsible could face legal
consequences. As long as WCAG specifies the requirements clearly
enough, the market and legal system should handle enforcement.


Loretta Guarino Reid, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Gregg Vanderheiden, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, WCAG WG Staff Contact

On behalf of the WCAG Working Group

On Nov 4, 2007 2:54 AM, aurélien levy <aurelien.levy@free.fr> wrote:
> Hi,
> here is my comment in regard of the current review for bug 2059 :
> http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=2059
> I agree for the company who want to use their own list but the problem
> is more that you let company claim the accessibility of their own
> product/technology without any control and with really vague criteria
> (as number of supported : plateform, AT, browser).
> I like to be as optimistic as you but I think that the commercial and
> marketing communication of big company like Adobe, Microsoft is more
> powerful that the feedback and comment off the small community of
> accessibility.
> Can you give me an answer for my last comment :
> Why, it' s a problem for the WCAG working group (or another w3c group)
> to maintain a list of accessible technology and not only limited to W3C
> technology (since the working group is partially composed by employee of
> non standard technology company it must not be a problem)
> For my part I think that the support of two different plateform
> accessibility API (NSAccessibility protocol for OSX and MSAA for
> example) and the support of two different browser is a minimum to be an
> accessibility supported technology. Without that minimum the technology
> can't be used as an accessibility supported technology except the case
> of using them in a close environment (every user have jaws 8, PC and IE7
> for example)
> Best regards
> Aurélien Levy
Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 23:31:27 UTC

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