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Re: Manual validation

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 18:30:07 -0400 (EDT)
To: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
cc: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0209221819440.30939-100000@tux.w3.org>

On Sun, 22 Sep 2002, Nick Kew wrote:

>On Sun, 22 Sep 2002, David Woolley wrote:
>> There are two issues here. One is the need for manual validation,
>> and the other who should do it.
>And the third is what resources are available to do it.  If you have
>a blind person, do you equip them with expensive top-of-the-range kit
>that can do things like "accessible" flash, or something affordable to
>real-life users?

Good point. If you do ask a blind person to assess what they can get out of
the content, how are they going to know what they missed out on?
>> It is impossible to automatically validate for accessibility, so
>> manual validation is always needed.
>A sweeping generalisation:-)

True, but I suspect a defensible one for a while. The current generation of
tools are certainly helpful and reduce the time required, but are not yet
able to replace all the thinking a person can do.
>> People with disabilities are likely to understand specific issues
>> better than those without.
>This is true, particularly where you are presenting complex information.
>But those of us who don't have representatives from a broad range of
>disability groups amongst our colleagues have to make do with

I agree with what Nick says to this point (but disagree a little with his
approach outlined below).

My personal approach is to check a page against the checkpoints for WCAG 1.0
(all of them, not just the "barely minimal level A"). For this I use
whichever automated tools I know will help - which is more a case of me
learning to use enough tools and save myself work than there being a
particular tool that is perfect. (The process of manual validation is
checking against the checkpoints. The better I know my tools, the more and
more reliably I can automate the drudgery of that, but doing the full check
is important...)

In that process I test in a couple of browser types, and look for behaviour I
know they will reveal.

And I agree that accepting feedback is always a valuable and important part
of ongoing accessibility. From the authoring / updating side it is equally
important to document the process required, so an update doesn't make a page
become less accessible.

just my 2 cents.


>IMO a pretty good target is a three-level approach:
>(1) Automatic testing with Site Valet
>(2) Does it work as linearised text - e.g. view in in Lynx
>(3) Provide a prominent and accessible feedback option for people
>    to raise any issues that remain in spite of your best efforts.
>    Make sure someone is tasked with dealing with such feedback!

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
SWAD-E http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe ------------ WAI http://www.w3.org/WAI
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Received on Sunday, 22 September 2002 18:31:28 UTC

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