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Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World

Title: Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World

Authors: Kelly, B., Sloan, D., Phipps, L., Petrie, H. and Hamilton, F.

Conference:  International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility (W4A) 2005.

Citation:

Kelly, B., Sloan, D., Phipps, L., Petrie, H. and Hamilton, F., 2005. Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World. InProceedings of the 2005 International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility (W4A). DOI: 10.1145/1061811.1061820

Author Details

The co-authors of this paper are:

You can view Brian Kelly’s Google+ page. His email address is currently b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk

Abstract:

Since 1999 the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have provided a solid basis for implementation of accessible Web design. However it is argued that in the context of evaluation and policymaking, inappropriate reference to the WCAG may lead to serious practical difficulties in implementation and monitoring of an effective accessibility policy. There is a pressing need for a framework that guides appropriate application of the WCAG in a holistic way, taking into account the diversity – or homogeneity – of factors such as context of use, audience and audience capability, and access environment. In particular, the current promotion of W3C technologies at the expense of widely used and accessible proprietary technologies may be problematic, as is the apparent reliance of the WCAG on compliant browsing technology. In this paper, a holistic application of the WCAG is proposed by the authors, whereby the context of the Web resource in question and other factors surrounding its use are used to shape an approach to accessible design. Its potential application in a real world environment is discussed.

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