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Re: WA - background-image in CSS

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 11:42:05 -0500 (EST)
To: <kynn-eda@idyllmtn.com>
cc: Harry Woodrow <harrry@email.com>, RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, "'Access Systems'" <accessys@smart.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0201181135430.3322-100000@tux.w3.org>
I think Kynn is almost right. There is an explicit mandate in teh User Agent
Guidelines that the user can have access to all expressions of the content.
But there is no mandate that each individual version need to be accessible,
only that the overall information is accessible (this is explicitly allowed
by WCAG, as per checkpoint 11.4 "when all else fails make another version".

But I agree that the author should be expected to think about what is the
information being conveyed, and ensure that the same information is always
available, even if particular artifacts of a given presentation (colours,
sound, font, etc) are not presented by default to all users.

At the same time, excluding users from something because of a mistaken idea
that they can't use it (having a "text-only" version and a version that is
inaccessible to lots of people, for example) is clearly a bad idea. There are
many people who cannot use a full-colour version with lots of multimedia, but
who can nevertheless make use of images on a one-at-a-time basis (this is how
I use lynx), for example. Which is why WCAG says "make a an accessible
version", and does not say that a text-only version is sufficient.


On Fri, 18 Jan 2002 kynn-eda@idyllmtn.com wrote:

  Harry wrote:
  > No it need not look exactly the same in every browser...that is how a print
  > designer designs. It should have the same content available in every
  > browser.

  This is correct.

  However, in the rest of this discussion, Bob and Harry are wrong. Because
  they are confusing the _content_ with the _expression of the content_.
  Randal is right.

  The user -- disabled or otherwise -- should have access to the same
  _information_.  There is no mandate to access to each specific type
  of expression of that information.


    Information = "the information on whether or not the freeway is
                   flowing quickly, and how fast it's flowing"
    Expression #1 = "a color-coded map"
    Expression #2 = "a textual table of information"

    Information = "you're on Kynn's web site still"
    Expression #1 = "the text at the top which says 'Kynn's web site'"
    Expression #2 = "the visual similarity between this page and Kynn's
                     main homepage"

    Information = "the Prime Minister's message to the people"
    Expression #1 = "an audio file of his speech"
    Expression #2 = "the transcript of his speech"

  As long as the _information_ -- the _content_ -- is conveyed in some
  other way, there's no problem with additional expressions designed for
  specific audiences, such as an expression of the information designed
  for visual users.  For example, this is why the W3C has published
  PDF versions of Recommendations; because the same content is available
  in HTML and other formats _as well_.

  Claims of discrimination and the idea that the author has no ability
  to decide what is important are simply wrong and are at worst harmful
  to the widespread acceptance of accessibility techniques.


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 18 January 2002 11:42:16 UTC

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