Hi Tim,

I'd say Universities are probably aware of the issues with their
sites, they just don't have a magic wand to wave to get everything
fixed. Universities have massive amounts of information to provide and
generally a minimal budget to provide it. Despite that, they are held
to very high standards and are a soft target for complaints.

What about a page on Australian Universities similar to
what I have done for aus.gov.au sites.

Australian Universities have in fact been surveyed before (eg.
http://ausweb.scu.edu.au/aw03/papers/alexander3/) and the results are
an excellent bargaining chip to promote accessibility issues
internally.

It needs to be a dispassionate review though. Trust me, screaming at
people over validation results won't get the results you want.

The Griffith site that you so casually dismiss over some unescaped
characters actually took a lot of work from a dedicated team. There
was no big budget and no CMS to help, but there were some 100,000+
files to manage and transition (through several iterations) from
tables+frames to semantic markup.

In such situations priorities are set. Perfect validation comes in as
a lower priority than, say, getting rid of framesets; adding visible
skip links; and adding display preference settings.

Wouldn't that be of practical value to shame Aust
universities not up to scratch, rather than chatting
and more sandwiches?

Perhaps you're underestimating the value of knowledge sharing
("chatting and sandwiches") to under-resourced university staff :)

People may not have the budget to buy huge IT solutions, but they can
go to WANAU and brainstorm with other people in the same boat. Frankly
just having other people to talk to can make all the difference, keeps
people enthused and working towards their goals.

Were the outcomes of the WANAU forum concrete and measurable? Some
were, some weren't. It's a valuable activity either way.

cheers,

Ben


--
--- <http://www.200ok.com.au/>
--- The future has arrived; it's just not
--- evenly distributed. - William Gibson


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