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ATAG & specified technologies

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From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Nov 7, 2007 2:50AM


With regards to the UK Governments consultation document on Delivering
Inclusive Websites
(http://www.webstandards.org/2007/11/04/uk-government-accessibility-consultation/),
an interesting question occurred to me that I don't think has ever
been resolved satisfactorily.

The document rightly mentions that part of any CMS procurement should
include a requirement to conform to ATAG.

Now, I've done quite a few ATAG assessments, and with one exception
(that I won't mention for fear of blowing my own companies trumpet),
not a single large-scale CMS I've come across gets even close.

That won't surprise anyone here, but there is one aspect that I
haven't been clear on:

Does requiring a particular platform make something inaccessible?
(Specifically for a browser-based web application.)

The usual case is that a CMS back-end interface only works with
Windows & IE5.5+.

Now, most access technologies work with this combo, but what about
people on other platforms, or use Opera for it's excellent zoom
features?
Is there a 'use-case' where people *need* to use other platforms/browsers?

Many organisations save on sys-admin costs by creating and insisting
on a particular desktop set-up, which is problematic to accessibility
in any case, but is often a source of "but that's what we have anyway,
what's the problem?".
Is that set-up itself breaking the law?

Should someone procuring a CMS insist that it works with other
platforms even when they don't have any other platform?!

It would be a useful question to answer before the consultation is
finalised, if I missed the answer somewhere please let me know what it
was ;-)

Kind regards,

-Alastair