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RE: Meeting on Feb 20

From: Slatin, John M <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 15:44:22 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B03A8FC69@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Loretta Guarino Reid" <lorettaguarino@google.com>, "Sean Hayes" <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>
Cc: "TeamB" <public-wcag-teamb@w3.org>

I hadn't heard anyone say that there is *nothing* in WCAG 2.0 that
supports users with cognitive, language, or learning disabilities. Some
peple have asserted strongly that WCAG 2.0 doesn't do *enough* in this
regard. In some cases this means that there appear to be no success
criteria that address a particular functional limitation: for example,
there is no requirement to mark all instances of metaphoric language,
irony, sarcasm, , or other cases in which what is said is not literally
what is meant. Similarly, there is no requirement to mark content as
either "primary" or "secondary"-- though if that relationship is
conveyed through presentation (e.g., with "primary" content in a larger
font or presented over a different background) then it's covered by
1.3.1. (This could be done by including, e.g., <h2> for primary content
and <h3> for secondary content, in addition to changing font size,
background color, etc.).

But there are SC that support users with a variety of functional
limitations , including limitations of
- memory
- problem-solving ability
- attention
- reading, linguistic, and verbal comprehension
- visual comprehension

This is 5 out of the 6 types of limitation cited in WebAIM's very
helpful article, "Cognitive Disabilities," at
http://www.webaim.org/articles/cognitive/. The missing item has to do
with "math comprehension"; this could be partly addressed by adding
MathML techniques for SC 1.3.1 (these would be advisory) , and we could
consider adding something about quantitative literacy to the Intent and
Related resources sections of HTM 3.1.5.  . ("Quantitative literacy" is
measured in the National Adult Literacy and Life-Skills survey (2003)--
which, despite its name, is actually international in scope.)

Additional comments following the list of SC provided by Loretta, below.


"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


-----Original Message-----
From: public-wcag-teamb-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-wcag-teamb-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Loretta Guarino
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:24 pm
To: Sean Hayes
Cc: TeamB
Subject: Re: Meeting on Feb 20

There are a number of success criteria that only claim to benefit people
with cognitive disabilities. If we remove all mention of cognitive from
WCAG2, should we also remove those success criteria?

-JS: I don't think we should do either of these things. We should
continue that work that has already begun on clarifying what WCAG 2 has
and has not been able to do, and on developing a plan for further work.

  2.4.2 Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate content
within a set of Web units where content is not the result of, or a step
in, a process.
-JS: This one seems to address both memory and problem-solving;
depending on what methods are provided, it might also address reading
difficulties (e.g., by providing visual icons as well as text links that
help people who have trouble understanding visual information)
  2.4.7 Location: Information about the user's location within a set of
Web units is . Available.
-JS: Addresses memory, problem-solving. Could also support others,
depending on methods used.

  3.1.3 Unusual Words: A mechanism is available for identifying specific
definitions of words or phrases used in an unusual or restricted way,
including idioms and jargon.
-JS: Memory; reading comprehension; difficulty understanding non-literal
uses of language
  3.2.3 Consistent Navigation: Navigational mechanisms that are repeated
on multiple Web units within a set of Web units occur in the same
relative order each time they are 
repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user.
-JS: Memory

  3.2.4 Consistent ID: Components that have the same functionality
within a set of Web units are identified consistently.
- JS: Memory, problem-solving, possibly reading, linguistic, verbal

Besides the SC listed above, quite a few others provide support for
people with certain functional limitations listed by WebAIM. And, as far
as I know, there is nothing in WCAG 2.0 that conflicts with guidance
offered elsewhere about authoring for people with cognitive, language,
and learning disabilities. Just as WCAG 2.0 is meant to be used together
with, say, usability guidelines and guidelines about search engine
optimization, so it can be used together with guidelines for making
content accessible to people with CLLD.


On 2/20/07, Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com> wrote:
> I have followed up by reading the rest of the comments, and apart from
a few specific issues I'd say the broad thrust of the comments are along
the lines of "please don't say you address learning difficulties or
cognitive, because you really don't". And that what we do have is
targeted at reading level which is not the same as either LD, CD or
reading disability and shouldn't be confused.
> I think these are reasonable criticisms, and our broad response, once
we have done as discussed a round of due diligence with invited experts,
and unless some concrete proposals come out of that, should be to remove
any mention of cognitive from WCAG2.0 with a disclaimer along the lines
> "We did not have enough expertise in the WG to formulate testable
criteria to address cognitive issues which could resonably be adopted by
all web content and this is an area which a specific W3C group with the
relevant expertise should address in the future".
> Sean Hayes
> Standards and Policy Team
> Accessible Technology Group
> Microsoft
> Phone:
>   mob +44 7977 455002
>   office +44 117 9719730
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-wcag-teamb-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-wcag-teamb-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Loretta Guarino

> Reid
> Sent: 20 February 2007 19:02
> To: TeamB
> Subject: Meeting on Feb 20
> Cognitive issues:
> Note lack of expertise in working group.
> 1. Invite experts from Ad Hoc Task Force to discuss cognitive support 
> 2. Try to address cognitive issues more completely beyond WCAG2 3. 
> General clean-up of language relating to cognitive, language and 
> learning disabilities
Received on Tuesday, 20 February 2007 21:44:35 UTC

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