Back to Principle 1

After a couple of days to think about it I find I am still bothered by
Principle 1.
" Provide alternatives to auditory and visual presentations"
Setting the guidelines under it aside for the moment, it doesn't take much
of a stretch of the imagination to interpret this to mean I need to provide
a sound track of some sort to read all pages aloud and perhaps the score for
any music I might put on a page.  Given the propensity to interpret
accessiblity requirements in the worst possible light ( e.g. the still
somewhat widespread belief that it means getting rid of all graphics and
color) this really worries me.
Greg's suggestion about "sensory modality" was good but leads us back to the
problem of needing to interpret the language (say that again in English
Perhaps we could state the Principle as
 Provide for alternative modes of presentation
This puts the actual presentation mode in the hands of the User Agent or
Assistive Technology while requiring the information be provided to support
any transformations.  Thus we can speculate about a tool for the deaf that
transforms music to a visual representation of the sound, or other tools not
yet imagined.
And speaking of speculation ...

When the guidelines under principle 1 are added, I have a few additional
In particular the phrase "Until user agents can".  I know problems with this
phrase have been discussed before but I don't recall any resolution. There
is, of course, the problem of figuring out exactly when this condition has
been satisfied, and I am left wondering why, if we speculate about user
agents doing something, not just make it a wish list of all the wonderful
things we think they should do in the future?
Perhaps we should eliminate the futuristic speculation and make the
guidelines relevant to technology readily available as of a given date?
Future updates to the guidelines could then consider each guideline in light
of the then readily available technology and update accordingly.  This
method would then allow for implementations that take best advantage of
technology to meet the principles without actually violating the guidelines
where conflicts exist, as they inevitably will.

Received on Sunday, 16 July 2000 10:49:49 UTC