'

[Irl-dean] Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites link

Paul Walsh, Segala paul at segala.com
Wed Apr 12 10:59:33 IST 2006


Guys PAS78 is n_o_t a standards document. It doesn't even list standards, it
just points readers to lots of URLs where you can find them. It is a
marketing vehicle to help raise the awareness of accessibility. This is a
good thing and I welcome the document for this reason (only). However, like
those in the group, I think it's a sham that they should charge for it. As
if it's not bad enough to see a disability agency charge £100 per hour for
consultancy services, they actually charge for a document that is supposed
to help include more people in society on the Internet. This should be free.
I'm disgusted by the fact they're charging for the document. 
 
Everything that's contained in the document can also be found on the WAI
website http://www.w3.org/WAI/. If you can find information in PAS78 that
can not be found on the WAI site, or linked to from the site, please correct
me.
 
I was one of the original reviewers of this when it was in draft. My main
concern was that it didn't achieve the objective that the UK industry needs,
for which it is intended. I questioned the objective of the document itself.
The biggest complaint in the UK is the lack of direction from the DRC with
regards to the level of accessibility websites should strive for. This
document was commissioned by the DRC and doesn't appear to have any input
from them apart from their logo on the cover and a representative at
seminars. The document doesn't provide direction to site commissioners to
demonstrate how many guidelines they should implement. 
 
This document IMHO is more suitable for web authors and should have kept
it's original title, it provides web authors with useful links to other
resources where they can find more information. It also uses a lot of real
estate to talk about how useful user testing is and very little is dedicated
to technical compliance validation. This isn't surprising because Julie
Howel from the RNIB is the editor and by her own admission, is not
technical. Moreover, it's pretty obvious that the document is swayed towards
using someone like the RNIB or Abilitynet for £100 per hour. 
 
I've yet to see a W3C editor who's less than an expert technical writer.
 
Furthermore, early drafts of the document dedicated two paragraphs to stress
the point that the UK government did not recognise any official
accreditation programme. However, it stated "until such a programme is in
place, you can use the RNIB See it Right Programme". I found this
anti-competitive and recommended that they either remove this blatant
endorsement of the editor, or include everyone offering a similar service.
Following my feedback, this information was downgraded to the Appendix (so
I've been told but I haven't received the latest version). The W3C UK &
Ireland manager agreed with my point so at least I know I'm not being petty.

 
Kind regards,
Paul


  _____  

From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Eamon Mag Uidhir
Sent: 12 April 2006 10:18
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible
Websites link


And - we hope - cheaper,  e.g. free of charge. 

The ISO and IEEE also charge big dollars for what should be universally
available standards documents. I don't think anyone has so far costed the
global productivity or economic loss caused by this indefensible hoarding of
key information, but I'm sure it's considerable.

If Isaac Newton was laying out the laws of motion now I'm sure we'd be asked
to pay 500 dollars for a PDF of them.

Eamon




Mark Magennis wrote: 

I second that. Apart from not being free (due to the BSI's funding

model) PAS78 reads a bit like a document produced by a standards body.

The formalised structure is off-putting. But I think it will be very

useful to its intended audience - people who want to procure

(commission) an accessible website but don't know how to go about it and

what kind of a process they should follow.



My main criticism is that there's just not enough in it. It's a bit thin

on advice and each subject is covered only superficially. I think they

could have done a lot more. But then maybe they did and, in true

standards body style, most of it got left out because it was deemed

"unacceptable" to one or two people. Some of the references are typical

of a committee-based approach - obviously someone wanting to get a

mention in, but not necessarily all that relevant or useful.



Wait for the NDA public procurement toolkit to be released. That should

be much better :-)



Mark



  

-----Original Message-----

From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 

[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Matthew Ovington

Sent: 11 April 2006 16:03

To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie

Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] Guide to Good Practice in 

Commissioning Accessible Websites link





hi everyone



I've bought a copy of the document - it's not helped by it's complex, 

multi layered structure but I think it's a useful document for public 

sector organisations grappling with accessibility. One point comes 

across very clear and that's that making your website accessible is a 

process, and not a one-off project. It follows that there are many 

inputs, not all of which might be immediately apparent to 

commissioners 

of accessible websites.



If you were a webmaster you could do a lot worse than getting a 

Information Officer or IT Manager to read it, because (as is 

identified 

in PAS78) the onus often falls on the webmaster to make a website 

accessible / compliant and this approach simply isn't sustainable.



I think it should have been free though! I resented having to pay 30 

quid for a boring standards document!



Paul Walsh, Segala wrote:

    

You can waste your hard earned cash or search for the 

      

answers on the W3C

    

website [1]. The PAS78 might be useful for those who aren't 

      

familiar with

    

accessibility, but it's certainly not going to add much 

      

value for those who

    

are experienced (i.e. this list). The document isn't 

      

getting much traction

    

with any of the experienced agencies that I'm familiar with 

      

in the UK.

    

[1]



      

http://www.e-consultancy.com/forum/103548-pas78-for-free.html?

keywords=paulw

    

alsh



Paul



      -----Original Message-----

      From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 

      [mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of 

      vivienne trulock

      Sent: 11 April 2006 12:45

      To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie

      Subject: [Irl-dean] Guide to Good Practice in 

      Commissioning Accessible Websites link

      

      Hello,

      

      Had this link forwarded to me by a friend, some of you 

      may be interested in it...

      

      PAS 78 Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible 

      Websites http://www.bsi-global.com/ICT/PAS78/index.xalter

      

      Vivienne

      

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-- 



Best regards



Matthew



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