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Re: Proposal for next Questionnaire (was: Re: A question about Step 4.b: Use WCAG 2.0 Techniques Where Possible)

From: Detlev Fischer <detlev.fischer@testkreis.de>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:22:09 +0200
Cc: public-wai-evaltf@w3.org
Message-Id: <A62360B0-C20A-405C-B87B-E0C123FBF245@testkreis.de>
To: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Hi Shadi,
thanks for your feedback. I clarified by points a bit in comments  
further down.

On 28 Jun 2012, at 08:42, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:

> Hi Detlev,
> These points capture the main premise we agreed on, that WCAG-EM  
> will not reinterpret WCAG 2.0, but rather explain its applicability  
> in the context of post-development conformance evaluation of  
> websites. Still, some of the formulation seems overly restrictive to  
> me. Some comments inline for further discussion:
> On 27.6.2012 14:00, detlev.fischer@testkreis.de wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> Shadi's reply to my question regarding Step 4.b: "Use WCAG 2.0  
>> Techniques Where Possible" suggests that the point I raised is  
>> beyond the scope of WCAG-EM. The lack of further answers indicates  
>> that this might be consensus in our group.
>> To clarify and clearly delimit this scope of WCAG-EM, I suggest the  
>> three statements below that might be used in at the beginning of  
>> Step 4: "Audit the Selected Sample". (I also thought whether they  
>> might fit into step Step 1.e: "Define the Techniques to be Used  
>> (Optional)" but the aim of this section is different.
>> Eric,  maybe we can put these statements (as they are, or in  
>> modified form) in the next questionnaire to see if this is ideed  
>> consensus?
>> "(1) WCAG-EM provides no details regarding the application of  
>> Sufficient Techniques in conformance evaluation beyond the  
>> enumeration of options in the WCAG Quickref. Any Sufficient  
>> Technique (and any technique that is demonstrably sufficient for  
>> the relevant context of use) may be used in whatever combination as  
>> long as all page content satisfies the respective Success Criterion."
> "no details" seems overly strong. We may agree to provide some  
> guidance on how to apply and use Techniques (including Sufficient  
> Techniques), though we did not agree to enumerate individual  
> Techniques and how they need to be combined to meet individual  
> Success Criteria.

There is considerable variation for Sufficient Techniques options  
across SCs, ranging from just one option / technique to alternative  
groups of General Techniques possibly using one or several "technical"  
sub-techniques, to SC with several situations (A, B, etc) which  
encapsulate different aspects. I think if we refrain from delving into  
the individual SCs (which may be wise), there cannot be much advice  
beyond the very general "Check if one of the options of Sufficient  
Techniques listed in the Quickref is used successfully" followed by  
"Make sure no Failure for that SC applies" and probably, some  
statement regarding requirements for author-provided non-WCAG  
Techniques. That is what I meant with "no details".

I still suspect that a web designer / developer or a11y evaluator  
checking out WCAG-EM would hope to find advice on how to go about  
checking individual SC and make sense of the swarm of techniques  
provided. This need not be a *re-interpretation* of WCAG or its  
techniques, but something that tells people how to apply the range of  
options offered. This *could* mean (and I realize this is probably not  
going to happen in WCAG-EM) that in a note for each SC, WCAG-EM  
specifies the application of Sufficient Techniques where this makes  
sense from an accessibility perspective. To return to my earlier  
example, this *could* mean (again, something that is probably not  
going to happen) that for SC 2.4.1 "Bypass Blocks", the methodology  
states that "Except for ( <specify situations where a page is just a  
process step with no need for navigation etc> ), the SC is only  
satisfied if one of the options to bypass content (headings, skip  
links, collapsible menus, landmarks) is applied consistently for the  
entire page". I am not saying this *ought* to be so necessarily -  
there may be cases where a mix of options is fine, and of course one  
could argue that that alone should rule out any more detailed  
prescriptions on the level of SC.
Sorry, this has gotten longer than I intended. My point is that I  
think it is accurate to say "no details" if we are not going to cover  
differences of SCs at all and just have general statements that work  
across the board.

>> "(2) WCAG-EM provides no guidance beyond what is stated in the  
>> normative section of WCAG 2.0 as to whether web content satisfies  
>> of fails a particular Success Criterion. While the Sufficient  
>> Techniques are informative only, their examples and test procedures  
>> should be used as guidance and referenced when rating web content."
> Also "no guidance" seems overly strong. I'm also not sure why we  
> want to restrict ourselves to "the normative section of WCAG 2.0"  
> when the supporting documents provide so much valuable guidance for  
> evaluators.

My point was "No guidance beyond the normative text" since we seem to  
have agreed that we will not delve into Techniques and their pass/fail  
tests. I am *not* saying we should *restrict* ourselves to the  
normative text, I was actually stating that WCAG-EM might *recommend*  
(rather than mandate) to use the Techniques for guidance.

On the level of the text of WCAG-EM itself, I cannot see how guidance  
can be more than a blanket statement since any more detailed guidance  
would cross the line and have to deal with the way the options in the  
Quickref are actually going to be operationalized in the actual  
evaluation. I prefer the clear statement that no guidance is provided,  
accompanied by a reference to guidance elsewhere, to giving the  
impression that guidance on pass/fail is provided if this must be so  
general as to be useless in any particular case.
>> "(3) Success Criteria may be met either by WCAG's documented  
>> Sufficient Techniques or by any author-provided technique that  
>> demonstrably satisfies the Success Criterion AND has sufficient  
>> accessibility support for the users of the site or application  
>> under test."
> This is an interpretation of the WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements ;)

I just read again through the section of conformance and as far as I  
can see it does not explicitly deal with the question of using non- 
WCAG Techniques (would they need to be documented, including  
documented tests with a range of AT, is it sufficient to claim they  
are accessibility supported until proven otherwise, etc). There is no  
reference to Techniques, just to listing "Web Content Technologies  
relied upon" which is probably the level of stating "requires  
Javascript and CSS 2" or "requires Flash", not the level of stating  
"We use this novel JS + WAI-ARIA Technique to call up and operate  
widget foo"
>> I hope that these statements encapsulate the status quo. If they do  
>> not, I would be glad if you could suggest modifications.
>> Just to be clear, I can live with this position. In my view, it  
>> just moves many of the issues critical for a valid a11y assessment  
>> outside the scope of WCAG-EM. However, this may be better then  
>> engaging in protracted (potentially endless) arguments about the  
>> details of evaluation (should some content be allowed to pass or  
>> should it fail).
> Basically this is the main premise and I apologize if it was not  
> made sufficiently clear for you. When "some content should be  
> allowed to pass or fail" should be better addressed by WCAG 2.0  
> itself.

I agree, though in the absence of real live use cases and rating  
decisions, WCAG Techniques don't provide that level of guidance. I  
also agree (I have learned something) that WCAG-EM is not going to  
provide it either :-)

> As said in a previous posting [1], I encourage people in this group  
> to send feedback to the WCAG Working Group when they encounter  
> issues in WCAG 2.0 or when clarifications are needed. Improving WCAG  
> 2.0 helps many different contexts, not only WCAG-EM.
> [1] <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-evaltf/2012Jun/0112 
> >
> Regards,
>  Shadi
>> Best, Detlev
>> --
>> Detlev Fischer
>> testkreis c/o feld.wald.wiese
>> Borselstraße 3-7 (im Hof), 22765 Hamburg
>> Mobil +49 (0)1577 170 73 84
>> Tel +49 (0)40 439 10 68-3
>> Fax +49 (0)40 439 10 68-5
>> http://www.testkreis.de
>> Beratung, Tests und Schulungen für barrierefreie Websites
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: shadi@w3.org
>> To: detlev.fischer@testkreis.de
>> Date: 26.06.2012 11:29:44
>> Subject: Re: A question about Step 4.b: Use WCAG 2.0 Techniques  
>> Where Possible
>>> Hi Detlev,
>>> To your question:
>>>> Should WCAG-EM explicitly address this issue? If so, how?
>>> No, I don't think WCAG-EM should address this explicitly as these  
>>> are
>>> interpretations of the Success Criteria.
>>> Having said that, I encourage people to send feedback to WCAG  
>>> Working
>>> Group so that issues can be identified and fixed (likely through the
>>> Techniques or Understanding documents).
>>> Maybe in the phase where we test our methodology in practice we  
>>> could
>>> also collect these observations and send as a collective feedback  
>>> from
>>> Eval TF to the WCAG WG.
>>> Best,
>>>   Shadi
>>> On 26.6.2012 09:35, Detlev Fischer wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I'd like to hear your views regarding a particular problem when  
>>>> using
>>>> Sufficient Techniques to check whether a page conforms.
>>>> I take it that generally, the procedure might look like this:
>>>> 1. Check if one of the numbered Sufficient Techniques (or options
>>>> grouping techniques) has been used successfully
>>>> 2. Check whether another (yet undocumented) Technique has been  
>>>> used AND
>>>> can be deemed sufficient / AT-supported
>>>> 3. Check if one of the Failures documented for that SC applies
>>>> As we work through a page, there will often be situations where
>>>> particular instances of content use one technique and other  
>>>> instances
>>>> use a different technique. This is quite acceptable for images,  
>>>> links,
>>>> form controls, etc.
>>>> For some SC, however, the situation is more complex, and I would  
>>>> like to
>>>> hear whether you think that mixing different techniques for  
>>>> meeting the
>>>> SC on a page would also be OK in these cases. Two examples:
>>>> 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
>>>> Most parts of text satisfy G18 (sufficient default contrast).  
>>>> Some other
>>>> parts have insufficent contrast but satisfy the SC via Technique  
>>>> G174
>>>> (style switcher). The switch may be far off the part of text  
>>>> triggering
>>>> the need to activate it - for example, at the page start.
>>>> 2.4.1 Bypass blocks
>>>> Some sections can be bypassed by using skip links (G123), some  
>>>> other
>>>> parts use (hidden) headings (H69), one submenu can be bypassed by  
>>>> being
>>>> collapsible/expandable (SCR28)
>>>> Especially in the second example the problem is obvious: there is  
>>>> no
>>>> consistent way to bypass blocks, which could be quite irritating.
>>>> However, all content can be bypassed using one or the other of
>>>> documented sufficient techniques.
>>>> Should WCAG-EM explicitly address this issue? If so, how?
>>>> This is not a leading question. I am really uncertain about the  
>>>> best way
>>>> to deal with this issue. I just feel it should not be down to  
>>>> personal
>>>> evaluator preferences.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Detlev
>>> --
>>> Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
>>> Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
>>> Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
>>> Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)
> -- 
> Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
> Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
> Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
> Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)

Detlev Fischer
testkreis - das Accessibility-Team von feld.wald.wiese
c/o feld.wald.wiese
Borselstraße 3-7 (im Hof)
22765 Hamburg

Tel   +49 (0)40 439 10 68-3
Mobil +49 (0)1577 170 73 84
Fax   +49 (0)40 439 10 68-5

Beratung, Tests und Schulungen für barrierefreie Websites
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2012 08:13:01 UTC

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