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Re: plain/simple/easy language variant subtag

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:59:12 -0500
To: Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFD62B8026.2DF24898-ON86257EC3.00518B62-86257EC3.00525435@us.ibm.com>
Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com> wrote on 09/16/2015 10:20:52 AM:

> Phill and Chaals, with regard to this sentiment: "I agree that 
>  'complex ideas' are not the problem.  Nor that its a big problem to
> explain them in simple language."

> I admit that I find that a rather bizarre thing to say. 

> Maybe it depends on what you mean by "explain." If you simply want 
> to state something complex in an easy way, there is almost always a 
> way to convey some parts of a complex idea in a way that it easier 
> to understand, but that's not the end of the story.

I agree, that was what I was trying to say - to be able to convey some 
parts in a simple or more simple way.

> Let's start with the target audience of a three-year-old child, and 
> let's look a list of complex ideas:
> Change management theory in large organizations
> Quantum mechanics
> Trigonometry
> The scientific, political, sociological, and ethical considerations 
> of planning a multinational team of astronauts/cosmonauts/etc to 
> Mars to build a permanent human colony
> Can you say something about all of these things in easy terms? Yes. 
> Can you truly convey the detailed nuances of these topics to a 
> three-year-old? No. Meaning will be lost. You will simply fail to 
> convey much of the meaning. 

Yes I agree.  Same with "summarization" technologies, when the information 
is summarized, some meaning or at least details will be lost. 

I think there are several ideas or concepts we are discussing:
having an HTML tag or attribute for identifying some block of content as 
"simple" or "more simple" or "at some level of language comprehension 
Success Criteria for being able to determine objectively that some block 
of content meets the level
Technologies that can "switch" to the level of content that the end user 
is able to comprehend based on some user setting or preference. 

Phill Jenkins
IBM Accessibility
Received on Thursday, 17 September 2015 14:59:50 UTC

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