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comment on Research Report on Web Accessibility Metrics

From: Sarah Bourne <sarahebourne@ymail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 18:23:26 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1348795406.21233.YahooMailNeo@web124503.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
To: "public-wai-rd-comments@w3.org" <public-wai-rd-comments@w3.org>
First, I would like to thank the W3C WAI Research and Development Working 
Group (RDWG) and the people who submitted papers to the Symposium. This 
is an important topic, and the report is a valuable contribution to the 
available materials.
 
One area that is under-represented is why metrics are needed. It is 
addressed briefly in section 1.2, "The Benefits of Using Metrics". But 
the evaluation criteria outlined are going to be dependent on what the 
metrics are going to be used for. For instance, what is "adequate" for a high-level snapshot of the state of accessibility in an enterprise may 
be almost useless for measuring code quality in a development 
environment. Even where criteria are aligned, you need to ensure that the needs are addressed to fully address the utility of the metrics..

 
One approach for filling this gap is to collect use cases for accessibility metrics. The following are examples where I have used accessibility 
metrics, or wished that they were available. 
- Monitoring enterprise accessibility maturity. Identify where more training and/or 
awareness is needed, particularly in large organizations.
- Prioritization of remediation efforts. Identify where the most severe problems are and provide data for making prioritization and funding decisions.
- Strategic planning and performance management. Results-driven performance 
management requires objective metrics that demonstrate results in 
achieving identified goals.
- Risk management. Website or application level "barrier analysis" data to find defects that are discriminatory
- Quality Assurance. Minimizing defects by systematic testing throughout the design and development lifecycle.
- Procurement. Objective data for existing products (commercial or otherwise) that can be reliably used for evaluation purposes.

I look forward to your future efforts in this area.

Sarah E Bourne
Woburn, MA, US


Note: 

My comments here are informed by my position as the Director of the 
Assistive Technology Group of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
Information Technology Division, but they are my own and do not 
necessarily reflect the position of the Commonwealth.
Received on Friday, 28 September 2012 12:46:08 GMT

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