Status of this document

This is some rough ideas as understood and expressed by Charles McCN about making text accessible (comprehensible) that came from a short breakout session at a meeting of the WCAG working group. It may or may not be maintained, and comments should be sent to the working group's email list (you can read the public archives of the list). This document was last updated on $Date: 2001/11/27 07:04:43 $. This work is related to ideas about making content more accessible by providing multimedia illustrations, explanations, or memory aids - that topic is discussed in a document about using multimedia to make content more accessible.


1. Headings should be unique, and meaningful on their own.

2. first sentence must match the (single) idea expressed in a paragraph.

6. 1: and 2: are related to the requirement that links should make sense on their own.

20. One idea per paragraph: Test: replace each paragraph with a one idea sentence. (the first sentence, or a rewrite of that) Does the document make sense still?

17. Success Criteria: It is possible to map the document to pieces that are in the summary (exec summary, or heading outline, or ...)

3. success criterion: non-literal text is identified and a literal translation is identified

4. technique for 3: Use of Ruby.

<p> The Prime minister is wanting to 
  <rb>have his cake and eat it too</rb> <!-- the metaphorical expression -->
  <rt class="">get the benefit of seeming inflexible now, but be able to change
      his mind again later</rt>
   <!-- the rt element can be rendered alongside, or instead of, the rb content, according to the styling -->
</ruby> in this instance.</p>

5. Jargon that is expected should be linked to a glossary / explanation

21. Use the jargon. This has to be linked to (depends on) 5: and should be linked to 4:

7. Linking to a glossary is not as cool as providing the information in a ruby so it can be shown/hidden fast.

22. Technique: Use Ruby

23. Technique: Use a rel="glossary" link.

8. Instructions should be step by step, and include visual references.

9. It should be possible to choose the detailed or the shortened instructions - LS

14. Use markup to identify flow of instructions

10. It should be possible to identify a graphic representation of an instruction. i.e. you can draw the picture.

11. CMN thinks that 10: is also useful for being able to translate to sign language.

12. Use active rather than passive expressions - this doesn't have massive support.

13. Use short sentences

15. Use short words in common vocabulary.

16. Success criterion: Substituting common words for uncommon words (without significantly expanding the size) does not change the meaning. Note that this requires a dictionary that marks the "difficulty" of a word.

18. Short sentences success criteria proposal: sentences contain no more than one relative clause

19. Grammar-based success criteria are language dependent

24. the Open University has done a lot of work on this.

23. Provide for consistent formatting that doesn't put people off.