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RE: When is a web site accessible?

From: Chuck Hitchcock <chitchcock@cast.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 23:15:34 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <Lovey@aol.com>
Message-ID: <NBBBKAJEGLHENOJJCLGHAENBDAAA.chitchcock@cast.org>
Wow!  New Bobby capabilities and we haven't even designed nor programed them

"This site has passed the Bobby test and is ADA compliant" is something I have
not seen before and we would surely discourage page authors from using such
language. Thanks for catching this.

Perhaps the site developer is using a future version of Bobby that has benefit
of polished page author guidelines, stagnant web technologies (or perhaps a
short freeze), and new ADA web page compliance guidelines for all educational,
government, corporate and not-for-profit websites.  I hope that we can catch
up soon.

In the meantime, I was pleased to learn that the page author has been informed
of more appropriate language for that home page.

In case you have not scrolled down on the Bobby home page in a while, we
include the following advisory:

"True accessibility is ultimately a human endeavor. Bobby is only one step in
the process of making a site accessible to as many people as possible. CAST
recommends that web developers use Bobby as the first step to ensure
accessible web page design.
In addition, we suggest the following:

-Review the Bobby FAQ page, there are some aspects of accessible web page
design that can not be tested automatically by Bobby yet are still important.
-Read the most current working draft from the W3C's WAI Page Authoring working
-Request feedback from visitors to your web site.
-Retest web pages frequently with updated versions of Bobby.

Then on the Bobby page where we provide guidelines on how the Bobby icon
should be used, we include the following language:

"If all of the pages on your web site receive a Bobby Approved rating you are
entitled to use one of the Bobby Approved icons. Just make sure that the icon
contains the alternative text description: "Bobby Approved" and that it is a
link to the URL: http://www.cast.org/bobby. We ask that you download the Bobby
Approved image you wish to use from this web page and place it on your own

I suspect that we will need to expand our description of what it means to be
Bobby approved for our next release.  I am also beginning to favor a
recommendation made by Gregg Vanderheiden that we also require a manual review
of the small number of priority one items that Bobby is not capable of

The number may be small but each priority one item is considered critical.
Today, Bobby approval relates directly to what Bobby can test.  It would be
better if it really meant that all priority one items had been achieved.  We
hope that the WAI-ER group will be able to help us with this issue.

Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome.

Chuck Hitchcock, Director
Universal Design Lab (UDL)and
Product Development,
CAST, Inc.,
39 Cross Street, Peabody, MA 01960
Voice 978 531-8555
TTY 978 531-3110
Fax 978 531-0192

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Lovey@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 1999 5:59 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: When is a web site accessible?

I just left a commercial website with the following statement on the bottom of
the home page:
"This site has passed the Bobby test and is ADA compliant"
The site relies heavily on tables, Java Scripts, graphical links (without
alternative text links), etc.
Perhaps this author feels they have met ADA requirements by testing with Bobby
yet does not know (or feel the need) to make her site accessible to the people
the ADA protects.
Not to critisize Bobby - but perhaps some HTML authors are under the
misconception Bobby is THE test for ADA compliance.
IMO this forum NOT to define what or when a website is accessible but *how* to
make a website accessible. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Perhaps the law itself is our shortcoming.
Kindest regards,
Received on Thursday, 14 January 1999 23:14:12 UTC

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