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Re: Standards question


From: Keith Parks
Date: Sep 16, 2009 5:15PM


I appreciate the thoughtful reply.

On Sep 16, 2009, at 3:22 PM, Jared Smith wrote:

> Standards and guidelines *CANNOT* assure or guarantee accessibility.
> They do not claim to do so. It is impossible for them to do so. Their
> purpose is to help well-intended developers in learning about
> accessibility and defining some measure (and admittedly a very minimal
> measure) of accessibility.
> Take something as simple (and I use that word loosely) as alternative
> text for images.

I *do* understand how implementing a guideline like "non-text element
must have a text equivalent" can be a lot more complicated that one
might think (I refer to your article on the subject regularly). But
properly implementing that requirement is more of a common sense
issue, whereas whether a page needs to work with scripting turned off
is to me a different type of question, a more technical one.

If it's "Yes, you have to test the page with scripting OFF.", I know
how to test that. But if it's "It doesn't *necessarily* have to work
with scripting OFF, but instead you have to evaluate the scripted
functions for blah blah blah...", well, it quickly gets over my head.

And it's the type of explicit, technical requirement that I *do* wish
for the easy answer for, both for myself *and* for the programmers
that I have to advise, and test the work of. It's not a judgement
call. It either works, or it doesn't.

> So do you have to be an accessibility "expert" to determine if you are
> truly accessible? Yes, for the most part, you do.

I guess this is where the "goal/intent" stuff comes in. As much as I
can appreciate the value of having content that is genuinely
accessible and usable, the idea of being confident that we've met that
goal is so far out of reach, I (and I think many other) have to settle
for getting our content to meet the standards, which, as you
say..."For the most part, if you follow the guidelines you'll will be


Keith Parks
Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Student Affairs Communications Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7444
(619) 594-1046


Yes We Can!*

*should not be interpreted to mean that we necessarily will