Re: EOWG Comments on WCAG 2.0 Dec 2007 - Draft

Lisa Pappas wrote:
> Shawn,
> What action is needed from Liam and me? I thought Wayne's response was thorough.

OK, I'll give it a go.

What is doing what to what? I *think* it's that technologies such as 
HTML and CSS are supporting accessibility in that they give structures 
that are available to AT to provide data about relationships within content.

 From your eralier mail: 'Here is how I think the WCAG WG is thinking of 
it: "Accessibility supporting" would talk about what the technology 
does. That is, it supports accessibility. "Accessibility supported" 
refers to what has been done to (or is true of) a technology. That is, 
that there is accessibility support FOR the technology. We mean the 
latter not the former. So "accessibility supported" would be the correct 
term and would be hyphenated whenever used as an adjective.'

So let's unpack this. Is it true that HTML is accessibility-supported? 
That is the same as saying that HTML is supported by accessibility. I'm 
not sure that "HTML is supported *by* accessibility" is a meaningful 
phrase. "HTML or CSS provides support for AT" would be meaningful. But 
it doesn't do what we want to do, which is to differentiate between 
technologies that remove accessibility barriers and technologies that don't.

Consider a fictional new content delivery technology, let's call it 
PEBKAC. PEBKAC has some integral accessibility features, but these are 
not supported by users' assistive technologies, nor by current browsers 
and other user agents. Where is the 'accessibility'? Is it sitting in 
PEBCAK, unsupported by AT? Or is it sitting in the AT, unsupported by 
PEBKAC? Or is it an emergent property of the link between the two?

Clearly it is the last of these. Can an emergent property perform an 
action? Possibly. Love conquers all, after all.

EOWG supports love. EOWG is a love-supporting group.
EOWG would like to be a love-supported group. Does love itself support us?

**Only if we personnify 'Love'**

Maybe WCAG-WG have personnified Accessibility?

But accessibility is not a person, it's a property.

So I still vote for accessibility-supporting.


P.S. I'm sure this is how cargo cults develop. One minute it's a simple 
object/actor or property/person confusion, the next you're sacrificing 
small animals to it in the hope of improved support for aural stylesheets.

P.P.S. If there *was* an anthropomorphic personnification of 
Accessibility, what would he/she look like? Would he/she carry anything 

Received on Thursday, 31 January 2008 18:54:52 UTC