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RE: 508 vs. W3C

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 17:58:13 +0100
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E0CD4E8@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "Michael R. Burks" <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Cc: "RUST Randal" <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Steve Vosloo" <stevenvosloo@yahoo.com>

Dear All,
The DDA states that websites should provide a service that is no less than that offered to non-disabled users, and it is assumed (as the UK government is yet to provide parameters for commercial sites) that single-A conformance is the minimum - judging by the RNIB (http://www.rnib.org.uk) campaign for accessible web design. However, if you look at the Guidelines for UK Government websites (http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/publications/guidelines/webguidelines/handbook/handbookindex.htm) it will outline what the Government requires for its own sites and those of the public sector.

Also, consider that the German administration has recently taken a further step and asked for double-A compliance as a minimum!

Furthermore, I would have a look at Martin Sloan's take on the DDA in the UK, available at: http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-2/sloan.html

Having said all this, I would agree with Charles that double-A standard is a good target to aim for as a minimum, but if triple-A compliance is at all possible (even if not on all pages) then I would strive for that. I would also like to add the following: please, please, please validate your code and CSS.

Good luck.

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
Sent: 12 August 2002 17:47
To: Michael R. Burks
Cc: RUST Randal; WAI IG; 'Steve Vosloo'
Subject: RE: 508 vs. W3C

Well, what people do normally in this situation is consider the desires of
their customers. WCAG Priority 1 and Section 508 are different - meeting WCAG
triple-A conformance would cover you for Section 508 and satisfy the US
requirements, but meeting single-A would not.

I don't know the details of the UK Disability Discrimination Act, but I
suspect it would not be satisfied by meeting section 508. I am fairly certain
that the Australian equivalent act would not be satisfied by Section 508.

My two cents worth of advice (and two cents in australia is now legally
worthless) is to go for about WCAG double-A in your development and
maintenance planning, and ensure that you meet Section 508 requirements
immediately. This is becuase the 508 requirement isn't complaint-driven but
rule driven, whereas I understand the UK act as being reactive.



On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, Michael R. Burks wrote:

>buy the book Constructing Accessible Web Sites which Jim Thatcher and
>several others wrote.  It is published by Glasshous, a company in the UK,
>and is available at: www.icdri.org/constructing_accessible_web_site.htm
Steve had actually asked:
>needs to be made accessible. The pressure for accessibility is coming from
>the US. I'd like to know what their options are ... do they:
>    1) Make the site 508 and WCAG Priority 1 compliant
>    2) Make it only 508 compliant. Will this satisfy the Disability
>Discrimination Act of the UK?
>    3) Make it only WCAG Priority 1 compliant? Will this satisfy the US
>pressure coming from the Federal funders of the site?
>    All input would be greatly appreciated.
>    Thanks
>    Steve
>    Steve Vosloo
>    Division Manager
>    Usability Junction
>    Tel:    + 27 (0) 21 409 7961
>    Fax:   + 27 (0) 21 409 7050
>    Cell:   + 27 (0) 83 463 0012
>    Web:  www.usabilityjunction.com

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)

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