[Irl-dean] conformance question: Checkpoint 11.3

Sorcha Moore sorcha at segala.com
Fri Apr 14 13:20:22 IST 2006

Hi Vivienne (and anyone else who may be interested!),
You are not alone in the cloudy mist that is Checkpoint 11.3 :-)
“Provide information so that users may receive documents according to
their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.)” (Priority 3).  
The guideline itself is very vague.  The checkpoint following it would
give the impression that 11.3 might refer to text-only versions of web
pages, but this is not what it is specifically referring to.  11.3 does
“refer” to the possibility of providing pages in a number of formats,
for (accessibility specific) example using CSS to provide formats
optimized for use on Braille devices, speech synthesizers or TTY
devices) it actually focuses on providing the information (e.g. metadata
and content negotiation ) so that users/user agents may recognize and
access the various versions (see HYPERLINK
p://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT-TECHS/#tech-content-preferences). So,
in plain English, rather than saying “provide information in different
formats” it is advising “if you have different formats, provide
information so that users/user agents can access them”.  In practicality
the implementation of this checkpoint could allow a Braille device to
land on HYPERLINK "http://www.mysite.com/"www.sorcha.com and
automatically choose the format of my site best suited to my Braille
So in a roundabout way to answer your question, in order to be compliant
with Checkpoint 11.3, you do not have to provide a link to a text only
version of your site.  If you do not provide alternative formats of your
site, then you do not have to do anything to be in compliance with this
checkpoint. Roll on to 11.4…
FYI 11.3 has not been mapped through to WCAG 2.0 – that is, there is no
checkpoint in WCAG 2.0 that references this checkpoint directly.  The
WCAG Conformance scheme allows for this technique, but it is no longer a
requirement for conformance to any level.  Some aspects of it are now
covered under “Server-side Techniques” (ie the content negotiation) and
in advisory texts but it was agreed by the WCAG-Working Group not to
carry through the ‘guideline’ itself.
Sorcha Moore
Web Accessibility Auditor
Phone +353 (1) 2931966
Gold Sponsor of Internet World 2006 - www.internetworld.co.uk
Bronze Sponsor of WWW2006 Conference - HYPERLINK

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