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Re: WCAG 2.0 Public Working Draft: Response to WG Response

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:38:39 -0800
Message-ID: <824e742c0712111538jb7e535br28a8cdb8d3a98888@mail.gmail.com>
To: S.Vassallo@e-bility.com
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org

The introduction is now very short and does not allow for discussion
at that depth. However, the Understanding document parallels the
introduction and discusses this issue:

Success Criteria

Under each guideline, there are success criteria that describe
specifically what must be achieved in order to conform to this
standard. They are similar to the "checkpoints" in WCAG 1.0. Each
success criterion is written as a statement that will be either true
or false when specific Web content is tested against it. The success
criteria are written to be technology neutral.

All WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable criteria for
objectively determining if content satisfies the success criteria.
While some of the testing can be automated using software evaluation
programs, others require human testers for part or all of the test.

Although content may satisfy a success criteria, the content may not
always be usable by people with a wide variety of disabilities.
Professional reviews utilizing recognized qualitative heuristics are
important in achieving accessibility for some audiences.  In addition,
usability testing is recommended. Usability testing aims to determine
how well people can use the content for its intended purpose.

The content should be tested by those who understand how people with
different types of disabilities use the Web. It is recommended that
users with disabilities be included in test groups when performing
human testing.

Regards,

Loretta Guarino Reid, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Gregg Vanderheiden, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, WCAG WG Staff Contact

On behalf of the WCAG Working Group

> > ----------------------------------------------------------
> > Comment 4: Stronger statement about accessibility for people with
> > cognitive disability
> > Source: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2007Jun/0271.html
> > (Issue ID: 2101)
> > Status: VERIFIED ACCEPTED
> > ----------------------------
> > Original Comment:
> > ----------------------------
> >
> > In their current form there are still some important areas of web
> > accessibility for people with cognitive, language, and learning
> > disability that are not covered by the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and due to
> > testability are unlikely to be accepted.
> >
> > With this in mind a stronger statement about the importance of web
> > accessibility for this audience and the need for developers to
> > consider issues affecting these users would be worthwhile.
> >
> > The first part of this issue has already been taken up in the recent
> > draft, which states:
> >
> > "Although some of the accessibility issues of people with cognitive,
> > language, and learning disabilities are addressed by WCAG 2.0, either
> > directly or through assistive technologies, the WCAG 2.0 guidelines do
> > not address many areas of need for people with these disabilities.
> > There is a need for more research and development in this important
> > area." (WCAG 2.0 Introduction)
> >
> > In addition a statement that encourages developers to follow current
> > best practice for this group as part of meeting their accessibility
> > obligations would help raise awareness and provide support for any
> > companion documents/checklists that may be developed by authoritative
> > agencies in the future.
> >
> > Proposed Change:
> >
> > Add the following recommendation to the end of the existing paragraph
> > in the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines:
> >
> > "... There is a need for more research and development in this
> > important area and developers should seek relevant expert advice about
> > current best practice to ensure that web content is accessible, as far
> > as possible, to this community."
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------
> > Response from Working Group:
> > ---------------------------------------------
> >
> > The Working Group hoped that the inclusion of the sentence "There is a
> > need for more research and development in this important area." would
> > encourage support in the research community for additional work in
> > these areas.  At the request of several reviewers, we have removed it.
> >
> > We added the sentence based on comments submitted:
> >
> > Authors are encouraged to consider the full range of techniques,
> > including the advisory techniques, as well as to seek relevant advice
> > about current best practice to ensure that Web content is accessible,
> > as far as possible, to this community. Metadata may assist users in
> > finding content most suitable for their needs.
> >
> >
> > In context it reads:
> >
> > All of these layers of guidance (guidelines, success criteria, and
> > sufficient and advisory techniques) work together to provide guidance
> > on how to make content more accessible. Authors are encouraged to view
> > and apply all layers that they are able to, including the advisory
> > techniques, in order to best address the needs of the widest possible
> > range of users.
> >
> > Note that even content that conforms at the highest level (AAA) will
> > not be accessible to individuals with all types, degrees, or
> > combinations of disability particularly in the cognitive language and
> > learning areas. Authors are encouraged to consider the full range of
> > techniques, including the advisory techniques, as well as to seek
> > relevant advice about current best practice to ensure that Web content
> > is accessible, as far as possible, to this community. Metadata may
> > assist users in finding content most suitable for their needs.
>
> --------------------------------
> Response to response
> --------------------------------
>
> The rewording above is appreciated.
>
> Since submitting these comments I've continued to look for a way to
> include the qualitative aspects of usability/accessibility testing and
> user testing that are so important to accessibility for people with
> cognitive disability.
>
> My current thinking is that accessibility to date has relied on a mix of
> qualitative and quantitative testing, automated and manual checks as
> well as user testing by people with disability.
>
> It seems some of the SC are moving in this direction and if it is
> possible to do this for some criteria (e.g. SC 1.1.1) then perhaps it
> could be done for others too.
>
> If this is not possible, and the scope of WCAG 2.0 is that Guidelines
> must be testable, then it would be very valuable to acknowledge that
> testability is only one part of the accessibility process, so that due
> recognition is given to the qualitative accessibility criteria and most
> especially to user testing by people with disability as part of a
> comprehensive web content accessibility process.
>
> For example, a statement, (following or near "WCAG 2.0 success criteria
> are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific" in
> the introduction), to the effect that WCAG 2.0 provides a checklist of
> quantitative machine/human testable guidelines that can be validated for
> conformance. In addition, professional reviews utilising recognised
> qualitative heuristics are important in achieving accessibility for some
> audiences. There is also no real substitute for user testing, and
> designers should, wherever possible, involve users of assistive
> technology in the testing and evaluation of the accessibility of their
> websites.
>
> The last part of this sentence is quoted from the "World Wide Web
> Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes" Version 3.2
> August 2002, published by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
> Commission at www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/www_3/www_3.html
Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 23:39:03 UTC

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