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RE: Coding for Standards--comments please

for

From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: Mar 17, 2004 9:23AM


Bryce wrote:

> It just seems to me that the focus in the battle to build
> accessible sites
> is on the wrong group. We have the tools at our disposal to
> build it right.
> I'm really curious as to legally and morally, shouldn't that
> be enough to
> absolve me of burden? Why doesn't the LEGAL and moral burden
> then fall on
> the assistive technology manufacturers if their product fails
> to produce the
> results specified by the standards?

While I agree with your frustrations, I don't entirely agree with your above
statement. The tools (ie code) to build accessible web sites have been with
us for a while (HTML4 or even earlier) and many of us (and those who are not
part of this group) have not always used all of the techniques and code
properly - but now we are. Yes, there is a focus at the W3C.org site
regarding coding techniques but I don't think any of us belong to a company
that manufactures accessibility user-agents and I know that I haven't looked
at the WAI pages that deal with the development of user agents. Yes, there
should be (and maybe there are) standards for screen-readers and
screen-readers should be asked to follow them.

However, some of the problems we deal with may in fact be version-related:
in a few years JAWS 12.2 may be fully compliant but JAWS 4 isn't. I think
that if WebStandards.org was at least partially responsible for bringing
standards more to the forefront, perhaps ScreenReaderStandards.org should be
created to do the same sort of thing.

---------------------------------------------------------
Julian Rickards
Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publications Services Section
Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Phone: (705) 670-5608
Fax: (705) 670-5690


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