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Re: Accessibility and Stylesheets

From: Mike Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 15:35:36 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Message-ID: <01bdd5df$b12d4800$3a40450c@mike-b>

in general things are getting too complex.  We need to look at the 80/20
rule and figure out what simple things can be done to make web pages as
accessible as possible with the least amount of effort!


Mike Burks
-----Original Message-----
From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date: Tuesday, September 01, 1998 3:19 PM
Subject: Accessibility and Stylesheets

>I'm increasingly concerned with the high technical level of
>stylesheet proficiency that we seem to be requiring for
>people to create accessible web pages.
>The problem is that the way the guidelines are written (and
>this is improved on current rewrites -- but not necessarily
>enough to solve the problem!), you need to have detailed
>knowledge of HTML and some CSS experience in order to make
>an accessible web page.
>Sad to say, this cuts out over half of the people currently
>designing web pages!  Stylesheets alone are a confusing new
>concept to anyone who hasn't tried them -- and that may be
>enough for them to decide, "accessibility is too hard -- I
>can't do stylesheets, I don't know what an <OBJECT> is or
>even what the difference between a 'tag' and an 'element' is
>-- so I won't even bother to try to make accessible pages!"
>I'm currently teaching an accessibility course for the HTML
>Writers Guild's online classes, and that was one of the
>comments from a student.  In addition, the Guild's AGI
>project found that 38% of the respondents thought there was
>too much HTML 4.0 technical knowledge necessary to understand
>the guidelines (April 14 version), and 54% -- over half --
>were turned off by the emphasis on stylesheets!
>Now, as someone who knows HTML 4.0 pretty well himself, and is
>decent with stylesheets, I can understand entirely why those
>need to be part of guidelines, and why they're good and useful
>features to use when designing web pages.  But I'm also an
>expert at this, and do this for a living -- and not everyone
>falls into that category.
>However, those people still need to make accessible pages!
>Web accessibility is not only for the advanced authors, it
>something _everyone_ should know!
>But, of course, there's the problem -- how to communicate _only_
>what the beginner needs to know, without making them think
>that's all they'll _ever_ have to understand about accessibility.
>Has anyone dealt with this problem before?  Do you have a nicely
>written, "stable", newbie-friendly document that touches on the
>basics of accessible web design, without overwhelming the casual
>author with LONGDESC and CSS2 and other unfamiliar concepts?
>If so, can I have a URL? :)  If not, am I volunteering myself
>for more work?
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
>Chief Technologist & Co-Owner, Idyll Mountain Internet; Fullerton,
>For your user-defined stylesheet: .GeoBranding { display: none !
important; }
Received on Tuesday, 1 September 1998 15:32:46 UTC

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