[Accessibleweb] Matt May on "text-only" alternative sites

Harry Love hlove at u.washington.edu
Fri Jun 25 10:16:19 PDT 2004

Matt May, member of the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, has written
an excellent commentary on the ethical problems associated with creating
text-only alternative sites.

Article: http://www.bestkungfu.com/index.php?p=507

Referring to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines' allowance for
alternative pages (guideline 11.4), he says:

"Best effort means more than some (or no) effort. It means you have
taken a hard look at your site, and found that there is something you
just can’t do accessibly. The bar for this claim is miles higher in 2004
than it was in 1999: with well-established techniques on how to use the
semantics of HTML and presentation capabilities of CSS, the set of what
absolutely cannot be done is very small."

Definitely worth the read, especially if you are considering a text-only
alternative solution.


Education Technology Specialist
Health Sciences Libraries
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7155

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