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AT Accessibility Support required across the web site.

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 18:02:41 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP345A05752BBAE70C17A2C9FEAC0@phx.gbl>
To: "Shadi Abou-Zahra" <shadi@w3.org>, "Eval TF" <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>, "Loretta Guarino Reid" <lorettaguarino@google.com>, "'Gregg Vanderheiden'" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "Eric Velleman" <E.Velleman@bartimeus.nl>
HI Shadi

 

We had a good conversation and you asked me to share this with the larger
group regarding the proposed draft of the EVAL Methodology. 

 

Regarding requiring an entire site to have identical accessibility support.
( 3.1.4 "Accessibility support must be uniform throughout a single
<http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/conformance/ED-methodology-20120904#website>
website") 

 

I do not think this should be a *requirement* of this methodology (using the
words "needs to" or "must" etc.)... I'm thinking specifically of Governments
who are eagerly anticipating applying this methodology to large department
web sites. Here are the problems I see with this requirement.

 

1) I think requiring identical AT support across a large site is a very
liberal interpretation of the intent of WCAG. 

 

2) It's almost impossible to do on a large site: The logistics of making
1,000,000 pages, 1000 applications, 20 web teams, 5 accessibility
consultancy firms external, and 10 internal accessibility teams all have the
exact same results across all AT is very difficult, and not necessarily
desirable, although for smaller sites it certainly a worthy goal. 

 

3) It could also negatively affect between testing tools, and consultancies.
Policy may interpret this clause to dictate one corporate evaluation tool
the winner, and one consultancy to do all of the contracts within a
department ... this could create a monopoly situation and increased prices
of accessibility. It could be more difficult for different web groups within
the site to solicit quotes from 3 or 4 competitors... 

 

4) It could negatively affect the way we test... sometimes I'll have one
tester do one part of the site with a set of tools, and another tester have
slight variations on those i.e., a different screen reader, or different OS,
or version of browser etc... I wouldn't want their results to be invalid...
I actually want the variation 

 

So to me the whole issue of *mandating* uniform AT support across a site is
problematic ... even though on the surface it's a worthy ideal to recommend.
I think it is sufficient that they all pass WCAG, not that they all pass
WCAG with the same exact version of the same tools, OS, and browser
combinations...

 

I haven't been looking at this document as long as your team, and I don't
want to hold up the draft, but I would be more comfortable if there was a
note put on that section (3.1.4) that there is discussion (or concern) about
this section and public comment is invited...

 

This was the position I was attempting to put forward the end of the last
WCAG meeting when we were so short of time. 

 

Cheers

David MacDonald

 

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

  "Enabling the Web"

www.Can-Adapt.com <http://www.can-adapt.com/> 

 
Received on Monday, 10 September 2012 22:03:29 GMT

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