W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2002

RE: try our best to follow w3c/wai guidelines (was DC2002 and Accessibility Metadata)

From: Michael R. Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 11:49:32 -0400
To: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, "jonathan chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, "John Foliot - bytown internet" <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Cc: "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBJFEIALPLCLHAPJAIMEHLINAA.mburks952@worldnet.att.net>

My question is:

Are any users with severe learning disabilities included in the group
wrestling with these issues?


Mike Burks

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Al Gilman
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2002 11:35 AM
To: jonathan chetwynd; John Foliot - bytown internet
Cc: jonathan chetwynd; W3c-Wai-Ig
Subject: Re: try our best to follow w3c/wai guidelines (was DC2002 and
Accessibility Metadata)

Yes the needs of this group are not yet covered by the published profile of

But please don't say that W3C/WAI is "failing to grapple with" this gap.

Last Thursday, there was a joint meeting of the Web Content Accessibility
and Device Independence Working Groups.  They are doing this because they
really are grappling with the gap.  [And yes, we are struggling with the
problem, not finding it easy.]

User with severe learning disabilities take center stage as the user group
who push the envelope of "requirements on capabilities" that motivate
scenarios that employ

a) persistent personal profiles of presentation preferences

b) pre-emptive communication and [quite possibly server-side] action to
adapt content to respect these personal characteristics.

Some of these users need content to automatically 'snap to' a presentation
profile approximating that set out in


The conventional wisdom about how the web works is that it works by human
recognition and machine recall.  We have laid down the constraint that human
language in the content should be in a form that can be recognized by the
machine process performing text-to-speech transformation in a screen reader.
What we haven't done is lay the groundwork for the server-side machine
process to recognize what the user needs when a
one-presentation-works-for-most won't work for that user.

In case it isn't obvious, I would advocate that the WAI be at pains to
cooperate with the Dublin Core Initiative in the search for the proper terms
in which to conduct this dialog so that the tranforming process can be at
the server and the transforming process can at the same time recognize what
it is that the user needs.

In this case the human won't recall a complicated user-protocol to get the
content presentation adapted, so there is an opportunity, a market, a gap
that could be filled, for the system to recognize the user's need and
justDoIt with a presentation that is responsive to the atypical need of the


PS:  By the way, let me point out that both in Jonathan's plea to address
organization beyond the page, and in the emphasis on the recipe for an
SLD-usable website, that there is a great deal of emphasis on "consistent
use of a small vocabulary of readily recognized memes (patterns)" in
constructing the structure and flow of the experience.  Not just that
connections shall be connected with URI-references, but that there shall be
hyperlinks defined in the roles of 'home, next, exit,..."  This is a
compatible extension of the Web standards as we know them.  We should learn
from a compare and contrast of this profile of practices with the practices
which are endemic on the Web today.  The endemic practices are
self-enforcing.  What is the minimum profile of interventions to enforce
what more is needed?  That is the generic problem we face today.  And WAI
and DC are in that boat together.

At 11:08 AM 2002-09-15, jonathan chetwynd wrote:

Unfortunately john your argument fails by a rather simple test.

you say 'ask don't tell*', but people with severe learning difficulties are
in no position to respond.

they don't know if they have a T1 line, so asking them, in effect denies
them access to the resource.
whereas, they more than likely recognise charlie chaplin, _If_  they have an
interest in him.
(similarly text versions of books are great, but many of our users need
abridged versions, and these may not be. The option could confuse.
Most cannot read, but none have a screen reader, and there is no 'free'(as
in lunch)screen reader designed for their needs.....
So don't imagine that your proposed solutions have not been considered, they
just aren't very helpful for our users. )

This gap between the ends and the means, is in large part the issue that
w3c/wai is failing to grapple with.



*I hope this rather brief synopsis is agreeable.
Received on Sunday, 15 September 2002 11:55:04 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:36:11 UTC