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RE: Sec. 508 vs. WAI

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 18:04:40 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF2315632E.FBBEEA3C-ON86256CF5.008223E7-86256CF6.000071A6@pok.ibm.com>

>Is it the role of the W3C to do this?

Yes I believe [1] that the W3C has an obligation to comment on whether or
not it agrees with the Access-Board claim on the differences and
similarities between the Web part of 508 and WCAG 1.0.

> It seems to me that the two bodies produced different things.

Yes they do in the sense that 508 is a government purchasing policy that
also contains technical standards, while W3C only produces technical
standards like documents or specifications called "Recommendations" and no
policies.  W3C is not politically organized like classic standards bodies
such as ISO.

> One a Recommendation on producing as fully accessible websites
> as possible and the other a specification for the purchasing
> of equipment and systems for a specific purchasing group

I was only referring to the Web part of 508, the technical standard in 508,
Part 1194.22 paragraphs A through P [note 2].  Comparing all of 508 to W3C
, WAI or WCAG is not productive to this thread of discussion.

> Of course we all know the WAI Recommendations are the honey produced by
> a host of bees working in a symbiotic relationship, the 508 the product
> of a committee possibly those who set out to specify a horse and
> designed a camel:))))

I recognize that we are all free to give our own opinions, but I would not
characterize either of the two working groups in that manner.  However ones
chooses to characterize the working groups, the fact remains that the 508
Web part technical paragraphs are almost 2 years newer and are part of an
enforceable policy.  W3C needs to publish it's view on the difference and
similarities from a technical view point to reduce confusion and promote
harmonization! - both with WCAG 1.0 and the latest/next public draft of
WCAG 2.0

[1] my opinion and not necessarily that of IBM
[2] http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/508standards.htm#PART%201194
Subpart B -- Technical Standards
1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications
Paragraphs a through p

Phill Jenkins
IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center
Received on Wednesday, 26 March 2003 19:04:51 UTC

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