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RE: UK Government Web Guidelines

From: Scarlett Julian (ED) <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 11:48:21 -0000
Message-ID: <F9BE3B1AB649D311A573009027852E4D01E34598@EDUC_MXS>
To: "'Simon White'" <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>, Tom Gilder <w3c@tom.me.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

I am in local government and therefore this doc is aimed directly at me. I
wholeheartedly echo Tom's derision but out of a sense of frustration more
than anything else. Yet again, we are given guidelines by people who either
don't know what they're talking about or don't seem to really care. The fact
that there is no html version of the doc is laughable and sets a really bad
example to all developers/designers to whom these guidelines are addressed.
Fyi, I have mailed the address given with a comment to that effect but
without the sarcasm or derision.

I don't know what the situation is in the States but I'll warrant that the
508 guidelines make sense and are presented in an accessible format. I
applaud the government's accessibility drive but it does seem that they're
paying mere lip service to it at the moment. The fact that they seem to say
all that is needed is single A compliance is a bit off too. Stick some alt
attributes in and pretend you read the user checks and you can claim an
accessible web site - is that the sort of activity that they should be
encouraging. Most local government sites are so far developed that to make
them fully accessible would involve immense amounts of work that most senior
managers will see as unnecessary. Going for single A doesn't really make a
page accessible it just means that the images are informative (maybe).

name withheld for fear of Persecution

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon White [mailto:simon.white@jkd.co.uk]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 11:17 AM
> To: Tom Gilder; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: UK Government Web Guidelines
> Dear All,
> This document has been out to consultation to those who 
> contacted Tom Adams at the E-Envoy's office of the UK 
> government. I am one of those. I think that it is a good idea 
> that these types of guidelines have been put together, 
> proving that at least the UK government is getting behind 
> accessibility for its own websites. I would suggest that 
> instead of mocking the guidelines here (as it seems some 
> have) the "suggestions" that have been made should be 
> forwarded to the relevant people so that your comments can be 
> evaluated and used to drive this type of guideline forward. 
> Better to be proactive than comedic, I think...
> Simon White
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Gilder [mailto:w3c@tom.me.uk]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 11:05
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: UK Government Web Guidelines
> On Wednesday, January 30, 2002, 3:08:09 AM, you wrote:
> > The UK Government has a draft set of guidelines for UK
> > Government web sites
> Er, is it just me - or did these guidelines not used to be followed
> exactly until MS took over development of the sites?
> > There is no HTML version.
> "Use HTML as the default information format"
> That's a classic :)
> > One alarming extract from the accessibility section
> > 'All important images must have an 'alt' attribute and
> > value'
> I'm guessing they mean <input type="image" />...
> > Feedback goes to
> > webguidelines@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
> Good that they've at least got some document up - and in all it isn't
> that bad. Clear, easy to follow and quite practical - might point a
> few people at it.
> -- 
> Tom Gilder
> w3c@tom.me.uk
> _____________________________________________________________________
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Received on Wednesday, 30 January 2002 06:50:18 UTC

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