W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 1999

Re: Conformance question

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 10:18:57 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990922093759.00924770@pop3.concentric.net>
Message-Id: <4.1.19990922093759.00924770@pop3.concentric.net>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Cc: User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, Authoring Tools Guidelines List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
aloha, jon!

i am adamantly opposed to splitting the conformance statement for the AUGL --
the goal of the AU WG, as spelled out in its charter [1], is to produce a
document that will assist software manufacturers to develop authoring tools
that not only produce accessible content, but which are themselves
accessible...    check the wording of the charter and the introductory text
carefully, and you will see that the accessibility of the tool and of the
content that it produces is not an "either-or" proposition, but that the 2 are
inter-related and (at least for the purposes of the AU WG and AUGL)

splitting conformance as you suggested would lead to the most pernicious form
of cyber-ghetto-ization, in which disabled individuals would be forced to rely
upon others to produce content for them, rather than reclaiming their
inalienable right to create content for the web by themselves...

it is not unreasonable to ask developers to ensure that their software is
accessible, for -- just as the first step towards the accessibility of web
content is use of valid markup -- so too is intelligent and conscientious
programming the first step towards building an accessible application...  all
we are asking the developers of authoring tools to do, therefore, is to
exercise care and to follow _published_ guidelines and standards in developing
their tools' interfaces...

allowing developers to produce authoring tools that are not themselves
accessible is akin to awarding the Martin Luther King Freedom Award to the
editor of a major publication who has always taken a strong stance on equal
rights and integration, but who belongs to a country club that won't extend
membership to blacks, Jews, or women...


1. http://www.w3.org/wai/au/charter

At 10:53 AM 9/21/99 -0700, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>You only have one type of conformance listed in the document.  I know there
>was discussion a few months ago related to the issues of the authoring tool
>being accessible and producing accessible content.  It was brought to the
>attention of the coordination group.  
>I was wondering if there was any discussion about having two types of
>conformance, instead of the one listed in the last call document? 
>Conformance types I was thinking of:
>1. Conformance in creating accessible web content
>2. Conformance for an accessible interface and compatibility with assistive
>It seems to me that two levels would give developers more managable goals
>to target their accessibility resources and highlight to consumers the
>level and type of accessibility of authoring tools as developers increase
>the accessibility of their product.  
>I checked the AU issue list to see how it was resolved, but there was no
>reference to when or how the issue was resolved.
>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
>Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
>Chair, W3C WAI User Agent Working Group
>Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
>University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
>1207 S. Oak Street
>Champaign, IL 61820
>Voice: 217-244-5870
>Fax: 217-333-0248
>E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
>WWW:   http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
>               http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
>               http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   President, WebMaster, & Minister of Propaganda, 
        VICUG NYC <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
Received on Wednesday, 22 September 1999 10:14:32 UTC

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