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Comments WCAG 2.1

From: Jens Pelzetter <jens@jp-digital.de>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2016 21:36:59 +0100
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-ID: <653b2db0-096f-fb2e-15d6-a4b1f8b2428b@jp-digital.de>
Dear WCAG WG,

I am commenting since I'm currently working on a PhD thesis that is
closely related to the WCAG (2.0). Also, I was (and still are) involved
in the development and maintenance of several web sites, primarily for
scientific research institutes and projects. Accessibility was and is an
important goal in these projects. In my PhD thesis I'm investigating how
semantic technologies like OWL 2, can be used to improve the
accessibility of web sites and web pages. At the moment I'm working on
ontology for representing the WCAG 2.0. This ontology will be used as
backbone for several applications, including a semi-automatic evaluation
tool.

Because of the development of the web in the past years and the changes
how the web is used I think that it is a good idea to provide an upgrade
of the WCAG to incorporate these changes. Not to retire the WCAG 2.0
immediately after the WCAG 2.1 are finished is also a good idea. There
are many references from legal documents in various countries, such as
the Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung - BITV 2.0 here in
Germany. It will take some time before these legal documents have been
updated. The WCAG 2.0 should not be retired before most of these legal
documents in the various countries have been updated.

However, before the work on the WCAG 2.1 can be started it should be
clearly defined what kind of changes should go into a Dot release of the
WCAG like 2.1 and which kind of changes have to wait until a major
releases like 3.0. For APIs the Semantic Versioning Specification
(http://semver.org) has drawn some attention and is now used by several
projects. Maybe some ideas from this specification can be adapted for
the development of the WCAG.

Aside from these comments I would like to provide some technical
feedback/suggestions.  On thing that should included either in the WCAG
2.1 or 3.0 are recommendations when to aim for which conformance level,
for example based on the intended audience of a website.

Another point which should maybe be addressed is how the WCAG and its
supporting documents are provided. For developers of tools and
researchers in the field of accessible IT systems it would be beneficial
to have to formal description of the WCAG, for example as an OWL
ontology. At mentioned above, I'm currently working on an ontology
representing the WCAG 2.0. Such formalization should also be helpful for
tools helping with the transition from WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1.

Best regards

Jens Pelzetter
Received on Wednesday, 2 November 2016 12:45:37 UTC

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