Will and Michael both asked why we chose Section 508 for the accessibility policy instead of the W3C guidelines.
Simply put, there are two reasons:
1. W3C is a moving target. That is, the guidelines are currently under revision and are thus subject to change at least once–if not many times–over the next few years. 508 is, for all intents and purposes, finalized.
One of the biggest lessons we learned from the logo project was that moving targets are bad things.
2. If something is going to become law, it’s going to be 508 and not W3C. It is our intent to implement this policy whether or not we are legally bound to do so, but we’d also prefer to not have to re-write it if and when the law kicks in.
How will editing be handled for each web site?
Each unit on campus will be responsible for maintaining their own site–nothing will change in that regard.
What about student sites, faculty sites, and personal sites, and other sites that do not normally fall under the policy policing umbrella? Do I have to update my personal blog hosted on the Cornell people pages to be accessible? I’d suggest these be explicitly excluded from the policy.
These are all currently under discussion, but it seems likely that some (if not all) of them will be exempted.