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RE: Accessible does not imply usable (was International Web Access Guidelines "Ineffective", PhD thesis Claims)

From: Steve Green <steve.green@testpartners.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2013 10:44:19 +0000
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6BDDA23E03987E4C90F4F8B4127D3B7A149F3810@THHSLE14MBX1.hslive.net>
"Accessibility compliance is just another compliance chore that has to be done to the  minimum level needed to avoid prosecution."

Actually, doing nothing at all is all that is necessary to avoid prosecution. How many cases have gone to court in the last 20 years? A tiny handful - it's not a threat at all as long as you don't behave completely stupidly e.g. Target and BMI Baby.

And it would be a massive step forward if companies did *only* achieve compliance with WCAG AA, but we are miles away from that. As it happens, that would be no protection from prosecution in the UK and probably other countries. The UK Equality Act is only concerned with actual outcomes and does not specify any technical standard. A combination of WCAG compliance and user testing is the best protection against prosecution.

Steve Green

-----Original Message-----
From: David Woolley [mailto:forums@david-woolley.me.uk] 
Sent: 02 June 2013 10:16
To: Ian Sharpe
Cc: 'Gregg Vanderheiden'; 'Jorge Fernandes'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessible does not imply usable (was International Web Access Guidelines "Ineffective", PhD thesis Claims)

Ian Sharpe wrote:

> this distinction by adding that accessibility does not imply usability

There is something wrong with the standards if that is not the case. 
I would have said that usability was a pre-requisite for accessibility. 
   For example, if it is difficult to understand how to use a site, you are probably making it inaccessible to people with cognitive disabilities.

> and that when we talk about inclusive design or universal design we 
> should be aiming to achieve usability, not just accessibility.
>  

> While for the most part it is true that compliance to WCAG is likely 
> to mitigate the potential risk of litigation under antidiscrimination 
> legislation and result in a more usable site or service than a site or

This is one of the big problems now.  Accessibility compliance is just another compliance chore that has to be done to the  minimum level needed to avoid prosecution.

> service which does not conform to WCAG, it is absolutely not the case 
> that the site or service will be "usable".
>  
> The problem is that it is harder to test usability and as far as I'm 
> aware, the process cannot be automated.
>  

I don't think accessibility can be reduced to machine checkable rules either.


-- 
David Woolley
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Received on Sunday, 2 June 2013 10:44:44 UTC

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