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DRC findings

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 12:19:06 -0400
Message-Id: <a06001f1ebca30f1e747b@[]>
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

The Disability Rights Commission report can be found at:

in PDF (English and Welsh!) and RTF.

They merely say "An HTML version will be available on this website 
shortly," which I believe is only the slightest bit 
self-contradictory and hypocritical.

I did a PDF-to-HTML export and a quickie cleanup. You can read the 
report in valid but not-very-semantic and crappy HTML at:


I'll take it down once they release their own HTML, which will 
probably be even worse.

Anyway, here are some sections of interest from the report:

>Compliance with the Guidelines published by the Web Accessibility 
>Initiative is a necessary but not sufficient condition for ensuring 
>that sites are practically accessible and usable by disabled people. 
>As many as 45% of the problems experienced by the user group were 
>not a violation of any Checkpoint, and would not have been detected 
>without user testing.
>Nearly half (45%) of the problems encountered by disabled users when 
>attempting to navigate websites cannot be attributed to explicit 
>violations of the Web Accessibility Initiative Checkpoints. Although 
>some of these arise from shortcomings in the assistive technology 
>used, most reflect the limitations of the Checkpoints themselves as 
>a comprehensive interpretation of the intent of the Guidelines. City 
>University, as a contributor to the Web Accessibility Initiative, 
>has drawn conclusions from this evidence about potential 
>improvements to the Guidelines, and these are summarised at Appendix 

which I posted to the other list: 


>As a minimum, the Government should promote a formal accreditation 
>process for website developers, and thereafter a register of 
>accredited website developers who have been appropriately trained 
>and who abide by the guidance

Essentially, Web-author accreditation. GAWDS, anyone? <http://GAWDS.org/>


>In addition to the proportion of home pages that potentially passed 
>at each level of Guideline compliance, analyses were also conducted 
>to discover the numbers of Checkpoint violations on home pages. Two 
>measures were investigated. The first was the number of different 
>Checkpoints that were violated on a home page. The second was the 
>instances of violations that occurred on a home page. For example, 
>on a particular home page there may be violations of two 
>Checkpoints: failure to provide ALT text for images (Checkpoint 1.1) 
>and failure to identify row and column headers in tables (Checkpoint 
>5.1). In this case, the number of Checkpoint violations is two. 
>However, if there are 10 images that lack ALT text and three tables 
>with a total of 22 headers, then the instances of violations is 32. 
>This example illustrates how violations of a small number of 
>Checkpoints can easily produce a large number of instances of 
>violations, a factor borne out by the data.


>If a non-disabled user on a high accessibility site is treated as a 
>baseline of 100, there is clearly an inherent disadvantage for blind 
>users: even on high accessibility sites, blind users with 
>screenreaders took over three times as long as unimpaired users to 
>complete their tasks. However, poor accessibility design 
>substantially aggravates this disadvantage: on low accessibility 
>sites a blind user takes nearly five times as long to complete a 
>task as a non-disabled user on a high accessibility site, with only 
>two-thirds the likelihood of a successful outcome.
>Moreover, on high accessibility sites, 18% of tasks were rated as 
>taking an unacceptably long time by blind users, compared to only 3% 
>of tasks by unimpaired users. On low accessibility sites, 35% of 
>tasks were rated as taking an unacceptably long time by blind users, 
>compared to only 15% of tasks by unimpaired users.
>It is also notable that both blind users and non-impaired users took 
>far longer on low accessibility sites than on high accessibility 
>sites, and that this effect was not much more pronounced for 
>disabled users: 51% longer for blind users, and 46% for non-disabled 
>users. It follows that all users, not just disabled people, would 
>benefit greatly from the measures required to make sites accessible 
>and usable by blind people.


>Key problems experienced by hearing impaired users
>*	Lack of alternative media for audio-based information and 
>complex terms/language (10)

They mean captioning. I suppose in a sample of even a few dozen 
mainstream sites, some audio or video would have been found.


>Automated testing versus user evaluation ... the majority of actual 
>problems the Panel members encountered when evaluating the 100 
>websites (eg navigation problems, contrast issues) were in 
>categories that cannot be automatically checked.


     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org | <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Author, _Building Accessible Websites_ | <http://joeclark.org/book/>
     Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 12:36:10 UTC

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