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Re: PROPOSAL: Assistive Technology Checkpoints in the Guidelines

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 10:36:42 -0500
Message-ID: <36C0560A.71FD1D1D@w3.org>
To: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
CC: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, jbrewer@w3.org
Denis Anson wrote:
> Ian,
> I agree that we can't keep someone from doing things wrong.  But a broad
> guideline that says that the user interface should be accessible via
> standard AT devices would at least allow us to say that a developer *has*
> done it wrong.  

People complain when the checkpoints are vague and too broad.
I propose instead non-normative text to that effect. Such as:

       The topic of accessible user interfaces exceeds the scope 
       of this document; user interfaces must be intuitive, simple, 
       and tested. This document does address aspects of 
       user interface that directly impact accessibility,
including                           device-independence, accessible
product documentation, 
       and configurability. 

> If we ignore the user interface, or say that that is not our
> mandate, then it is possible to have a completely compliant browser that is
> also completely inaccessible to one or more groups with disabilities,
> because they have no access to the control structure of the brow

We cannot guarantee accessibility with this document, however
strong the priorities, checkpoint language, or conformance statement.
A UA *could* comply with these guidelines and be inaccessible, but
that's less likely if the document represents the broad knowledge of the
working group members. A UA could also not comply with these guidelines
and still be accessible. While there are no guarantees, I think
that the more focused the document remains - on content - 
the more effective it will be in promoting accessible UAs.

Perhaps the UA charter needs clarification about the scope
of the guidelines.

> I don't suggest that we get into the minutia of the user interface.  I do
> suggest that we require standard system calls and AT interfaces where they
> exist.

I believe we already do that in several checkpoints of section 6.2 of

 - Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-WAI-USERAGENT-19981112/

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Tuesday, 9 February 1999 10:37:04 UTC

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