Thread Subject: Re: Action Item #2 - Definition of Web Page
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From: Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC
Date: Fri, Aug 24 2007 5:20 AM
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I only offer the discussion in considering the perspective of
the legal and technical standards. To answer your question, "..when we
consider this from a user perspective, why does it matter at all?", it
is to determine how products and services are considered accessible.
First consider there are technical standards for web pages and
for software that are different. I advocate putting them together and I
think we will do a better job of it. But I fail to see how we can avoid
considering web content as a file format. If reasonable people can
disagree, we must at least have some measure of what is required at a
minimum. I encourage everyone to make E&IT as accessible to as many
people as possible, for many good reasons beyond Section 508. However,
when I am asked to determine if a vendor's solution is accessible and
they disagree, we need some basis for structuring how we considered the
matter. That includes the definition of the technology used, in this
case "what is a web page". "A web page" is about a _document_.
When we get to the "how do I" part of ensuring E&IT is
accessible, breaking down the specific software and accessibility issues
of that software separate from "a web page" is important. We can't make
this any more simple than the development of the individual
technologies. If I build "a web page" that includes a flash application,
the techniques for making that flash application accessible are specific
to flash. Not to the web page (I'm willing to debate this, since that is
an oversimplification) itself but the _software_ used that isn't _the
web browser_. It is my opinion based on experiences with vendor
development and project designs for integrating commercial technologies,
that unless we break down technologies into the level of component
parts, we won't consistently build accessible E&IT.
So I'll respectfully disagree with you; the definition of E&IT
(specifically a web page) will have everything to do with defining who
is responsible for what and what is possible. You can always take a step
back and tell the vendor or designer they must take all the technologies
used into consideration, but when they then ask "how?" you are back to
the level of abstractions I mention. All I'm saying, is that lumping
anything and everything that can fit into "a web page" isn't a clear
enough definition. We will achieve better success if we are specific so
some day the user can go back to wondering when all the technical
details mattered at all.
I hope that helps clarify my ideas and answers the question you
asked of me. I'll also volunteer that considering the user is most
important but I think addressing the technical issues for them is the
best way to be considerate.
Respectfully submitted in the spirit of open debate,
Norman B. Robinson
Section 508 Coordinator
IT Governance, US Postal Service
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Whitney
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 9:53 AM
To: TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee
Subject: Re: [teitac-websoftware] Action Item #2 - Definition of Web
At 07:08 AM 8/23/2007, Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC wrote:
>Determining if something is a web page or an application embedded
>linked in a web page is different in truth and in perspective.
While I do understand the technical issues, when we consider this from a
user perspective...why does it matter at all.
We've heard a lot about the problems of understanding what provisions
to the specific way that a company/agency has decided to create their
but ultimately, the goal is the people who use the products. If we look
the Purpose, it is focused on people "....[a group of people] with
disabilities have access to and use of information and data..."
We've heard a lot about the difficulty of maintaining accessibility in
environments that are not perfectly controlled. All true. But this
changes the goal nor the definition of different types of E&IT. Why, for
example, should a user know (or care) whether I used Notepad, a special
editor or a dictation program to create a bit of E&IT. The question is
whether .... when that user sits down to read that E&IT, it is
Whitney Interactive Design
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"Warning: Objects in the calendar are closer than they appear."
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