Accessibility vs. consideration X: how to handle

There's been objections to various checkpoints on the basis of various 
types of hardships: e.g. time and diffculty to implement, danger to 
intellectual property, conflict with artistic visions.  What I'll call 
"considerations X"

These are all legitimate concerns.

But I bet we can come up with these problems for every single 
guideline.  For example, there are objections to textual equivalents.  A 
few years ago I wrote Scott Adams asking for textual equivalents to his on 
line Dilbert comics.  He refused on intellectual property grounds: he felt 
it would make it too easy for people to make illegal copies of the 
dialog.  Similarly, a store may want to print sale prices as graphical 
text, without textual equivalents, to foil robotic screenscrapers that go 
hunting for competitive information.  Or  guideline 2, separate content 
from presentation.  Again, makes it easier for the screenscraping robotic 
thieves, or people who want to take your content and make it look like 
theirs (the next step after framed content).  Or guideline 3, ease of 
comphrehension.  Constrains artistic freedom...  James Joyce would never 
have gotten past this guideline (the ghost of WCAG 1.0/checkpoint 3.1 
returneth). Guideline 4, ease of navigation.  I have heard web designers 
say quite seriously that they want you to go bouncing around a lotta  pages 
to be exposed to max impulse buying stimuli. Guideline 5, device 
independence... well, as soon as we see gamepad interfaces flying users 
thru 3D interfaces (a la Neuromancer) there may well be economic resistance 
to redoing the whole thing 2D discrete equivalents. As for Guideline 6, 
graceful degradation: see guideline 5.

Now, we have to address these objections eventually.  Plus the various 
problems that others on this list have already brought up in the checkpoint 
3.1 saga, and the intellectual property concerns about exposing internal 
presentation rule bases.

But I thought we had agreed that for now, we'd just talk about 
accessibility, like WCAG 1.0 said it was (cf. definitions of priorities 1,2,3).

Later, we can do one of the following
1. Just say we only defining accessibility, and not considering 
considerations X
2. Make a blanket policy giving people dispensation to ignore checkpoints 
in cases where there are legitimate consideration X concerns
3. Define "qualified" compliance that refers to consderations X
4. Make a detailed catalog of all the hardships that each consideration may 
5. -- your suggestion here --

So, bottom line: are we going to focus on accessibilty now and package up 
considerations X later?
Yes or No?

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:

Received on Friday, 29 December 2000 22:00:50 UTC