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Re: Summary of UAGL Conformance Issues

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 10:59:21 -0700
Message-Id: <4.1.19990929105311.00b1e100@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: Kitch Barnicle <barnicle@trace.wisc.edu>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
I think that part of the issue you are concerned about is who responsible
for determining if a particular user agent or assistive technology conforms.  

Is it developer?  
Is it consumers?  
Is it some "expert"?

If there is no defined method for validation of conformance for not only
UA, but other guidelines, then maybe we reallu don't need the conformance
statement at all.  I don't think it should be up to individual developers 

I have already sent a message to the coordination group to discuss this
issue.  I think it is a cross working group issue and one UA and WC
(although it is probably alot easier for WC) to determine conformance.

The other issue is what do consumers know they are getting.  I think any
conformance statement for assistive technology should describe the input
and output technologies they support.


At 08:42 AM 9/29/99 -0500, Kitch Barnicle wrote:
>Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough summary.
>I'd just like to mention that I have some concerns
>about how consumers will use the guidelines.
>I've snipped most of your message to focus on this
>>Goal 2) The Guidelines should list requirements for
>>accessibility so that consumers can make informed decisions
>>about which tools will meet their needs.
>While I do hope that the guidelines will be informative to
>consumers, I would not suggest that individual consumers
>use the guidelines as a purchasing guide, at least not
>in their current form. We have already said that even
>if a product conforms to the guidelines it does not 
>mean that the product is fully accessible and in fact
>may still be inaccessible to particular users or user
>groups. I am afraid that if a consumer sees the statement,
>"This Product Conforms to" they may believe the 
>product will work for them, when it may not. 
>What I would like to see from this group or the EO group
>is something like "Tips on Choosing a User Agent" based on 
>the guidelines. We probably will need to create separate statement
>that explains, from a consumer perspective, what it means
>for a product to conform to the WAI guidelines.
>As you stated below in Issue 2, rather than
>feel we are limited to "suggesting what features to look for",
>that may be precisely what we want to do.
>>In short: general guidelines may not help consumers in search
>>of specialized tools (except by suggesting what features to
>>look for in solutions that require general tools as well).
>Keep in mind that while some consumers may be looking
>for the "optimal" assistive technology/browser combination,
>more often then not, their assistive technology must also
>work well with word processing, email and other applications.
>I don't want to get side tracked on this issue but I thought
>it was worth mentioning.

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
Received on Wednesday, 29 September 1999 11:54:45 UTC

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