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accessible help and documentation (was Re: New draft - please review)

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 19:00:44 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19991018182500.00ab2ba0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: Authoring Tools Guidelines List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
aloha, y'all!

to follow up on the thread which began at:
on 6 October, in a message archived at:
i stated that:

i can live with the idea that 7.1 covers the sun and the moon, provided that a
specific reference to help and documentation is inserted into the Techniques
document  -- especially a specific mention of how online (i.e. on-the-web and
not runtime help) MUST be WCAG compliant, so that it can be accessed by all,
including those not fortunate enough to be using a UAGL-compliant user agent or
for those users for whom a UAGL-compliant user agent that provides the specific
combination of functionalities they need does not (yet) exist ...

specifically, i'd like to insert verbiage into the introductory text (in both
the Guidelines and the Techniques document) for Guideline 7 about the necessity
of ensuring that all help and documentation is provided in an accessible
format, as well as ensuring that, when help and documentation is provided in a
W3C Recommendation-based format, it include all applicable accessibility
enhancements and features built into that particular W3C Rec, as well as being
WCAG compliant...

i'd also like the issue of help and documentation addressed in the bulleted
lists of "Common Requirements" that appear in the Techniques for Checkpoint 7.1
-- not only under the heading "Following Standards", but also under the
headings "Icons, Graphics, and Sounds", "Layout", and "User Focus"

in a subsequent post, also dated 6 October, and archived at:
i also observed that:

if 7.1 does include all things sub and supralunar, then doesn't it also demand
that in order to satisfy 7.1, one must offer full keyboard access -- for the
help system, as well as for the manipulation of the tool itself?  keyboard
access (unlike documentation) is mentioned specifically in the Techniques for
7.1 under the header "Input Device Independence"  -- and is specifically
addressed in our sister document, the User Agent Guidelines (guideline 2:
"Ensure keyboard access to user agent functionalities")  -- as well as in the
referenced guidelines issued by Trace, IBM, and Microsoft -- all of which
outline the principles of accessible software design -- not to mention the
standards documents, such as those promulgated by EiTAAC, which are also
referenced in the AU Techniques document...

during the Face3Face session on 8 October, the issues of whether the topic
of ensuring that help and documentation is accessible to persons with
disabilities needed to be addressed in a checkpoint and whether or not 7.1
sufficiently covered keyboard access were both addressed, and it was
decided by those present to insert specific mention of help and
documentation into the Techniques for Checkpoint 7.1, under the headings
which i suggested in the first post cited above, as well to ensure that
keyboard support was sufficiently emphasized in the Techniques for 7.1
(something which i, at least, believe had already been accomplished, as
keyboard support is, as noted in the second quote, explicitly addressed
under the heading named "Input Device Independence" in the Techniques for
7.1, but which could be strengthened by a pointer or 2 -- to the UAAG and
the EITAAC guidelines, for instance)

if i have the opportunity before wednesday's telecon, i will send a
specific Techniques proposal covering this issue to the AU list...

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Monday, 18 October 1999 18:55:51 UTC

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