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Re: Manual validation

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 08:56:04 -0400 (EDT)
To: "C. Bottelier" <c.bottelier@iradis.org>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0209250845290.25011-100000@tux.w3.org>

This is most of what I think is a sound approach. However it relies on
empirical testing (if I can't find a person who has a problem that person
doesn't exist) and tools. Each of these approaches is a bit it and miss -
there are things that they won't cover

 - the person who can't write to explain why they can't use the site, as
   happened to me when trying to pay a bill from Telstra)
 - the tools miss the fact that some groups will not be able to find a
   piece of content, so will never know they missed it. For example, the
   critical link for people with cognitive disabilities is hidden from normal
   visual display. I think there are still simple ways of doing this that
   aren't picked up by tools

I think that having a specific list of checkpoints (and I use the WCAG
ones...) which have some rigourous approach to covering the practical
problems is important as well as the empirical testing.

One of the critical pieces below is the insistence on testing the design when
it is conceived, implemented, and altered. And another is the idea of
creating a template. I think that for simple sites a template can just be an
HTMl page structure, but in any serious project a content management system
(CMS) is important. This raises a number of issues - what things need to be
available in the CMS structure, and in particular what needs to happen as a
user adds data, or wants to create a new presentation.

I did some work recently on this that i think would be useful if I can only
write it up properly. (Problem was that it was largely unrecorded, and
entirely in Spanish, and it will take me some time to make it available).

But there are content management systems designedd to support accessibility,
and there are tools available to monitor accessibility on an ongoing basis
and provide reports. More of both is always a good thing of course, as is
adapting or extending existing systems that people are using and comfortable


Charles McCN

On Tue, 24 Sep 2002, C. Bottelier wrote:

>After reading the responses (and in particular the
>sections quoted below), letting the message contents
>playing in my head for sometime, and rereading the
>responces again, the following came to me:
>Creating an good acessible website to have the largest
>group of people benefit from it involves:
>  a) Thought about: the layout, structure, navigation,
>     and the way to present the information.
>  b) Create a semantic rich template on wich _ALL_ pages
>     of the website will be based.
>  c) Fill in the information using the above temple and
>     structure, using rich semantics for the contents
>  d) Create additional stylesheet to deal with the layout
>     of the information to get it displayed nice.
>  e) Try if you (and any other people involed) can get
>     the information out in an as easy as possible way.
>  f) Check with as many accessibility tools available
>     if you didn't overlook something.
>  g) Let a few groups (say visual impaired and blind
>     people, people with cognitive trouble, elderly
>     and people who don't have the websites language
>     as their primary language) of people test the
>     site.
>  h) Try to get continues evaluation through feedback
>  i) With every update recheck with the tools
>Also it might by a good third party service, for
>people having difficulties with the accessibility
>of any website, to monitor the web and give active
>feedback to websites authors / owners about the
>issues involved with their website. And maybe even
>provide public statistics of the most accessible
>website and the worst accessible websites out there.
>This could enlarge the general knowledge about
>accessibility, and a stimulus to authors to take
>their accessibility with higher priority to prevent
>being mentioned in the statistics.
>I'm unaware of such a service. I personally have
>send a few emails to the companies of websites I
>find unusable in the past. Sometimes a get a good
>reaction, sometimes a *fuck you*, but mostly no
>reaction at all.
>If such a service is not already there, and people
>find that it would be a nice to have, I would be willing
>to host and maintain it on the IRADIS Foundation servers.
>> >> 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?
>> >> 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
>> > second-best.
>>  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.
>Christian Bottelier
>Secretary & Project Manager
>IRADIS Foundation

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 Wednesday, 25 September 2002 08:56:06 UTC

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