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Re: How do you deal with false claims of accessibility conformance?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 12:02:25 +0200
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tfcl6buiwxe0ny@widsith.lan>

On Sun, 03 Sep 2006 20:55:42 +0200, Joshue O Connor  
<joshue.oconnor@ncbi.ie> wrote:

>> There are legal teeth,
> I'm not so sure. After the attempt to enforce conformance via a terse
> letter has failed, what next?
> I'll bet that's a big grey area, unless the W3C wish to enter into the
> arena of litigation,arbitration, and other sundry joys.

In simple copyright cases, while it is indeed in the arena of litigation  
it isn't very grey and it isn't very hard...

>> they aren't that hard to apply at least to most governments and large  
>> companies
> Really? And I don't wish to appear abrupt, but I just don't believe that.

Are we arguing about the same thing? My point was that when someone uses a  
WAI conformance logo to declare conformance, and that claim is false,  
there is clearly something W3C can do. In the rest of the cases there  
isn't, except under a few legal frameworks.

>>> Would the design of their own conformance logo add to the possible
>>> conformance "Tower of babel"?
>> It would, and that of course is the risk. On the other hand, if they  
>> were more active it would help improve trust in the real label.
> Well that is the worry, the symbols are loosing their glow and their
> currency is being sadly devalued.

Yes. I think W3C has squandered a lot of the value of those logos by  
sitting on its hands. They are currently, in my opinion, mostly  
meaningless, with a residual hint of the idea that people tried to do  
something sort of right. This is unfortunate for those who have done the  
right thing but cannot make any mileage out of it, and for those who are  
looking for content that meets their needs (to the minimally useful level  
that WCAG conformance levels can describe that - a profile of what the  
site gets right or wrong is actually far more useful to any given user).

The situation is not irretrievable. There is still a lot of value in WCAG  
1 itself (IMHO, at least as much as there is in WCAG 2 at the moment), but  
I am afraid I cannot see W3C itself endorsing anything in that direction.

So the long and the short of it is that if you disagree with a claim,  
publish something that says the site doesn't conform. If you do so, be  
*VERY*SURE* that your analysis can stand up - annoying people by saying  
they are wrong is one thing, doing it inaccurately is something else.



   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
   hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals@opera.com          Try Opera 9 now! http://opera.com
Received on Monday, 4 September 2006 10:02:37 UTC

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