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One more agenda item for March 6 Team B meeting

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 16:27:24 -0800
Message-ID: <824e742c0703051627r1d99ee3cnbbf666dcb2665f40@mail.gmail.com>
To: TeamB <public-wcag-teamb@w3.org>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Slatin, John M <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mar 5, 2007 8:19 AM
Subject: Proposal to update Benefits for SC 3.1.1-3.1.5
To: public-wcag-teamb@w3c.org





Hello,

Some of the Last Call comments about cognitive issues raise concerns
about the accuracy of the benefits claimed for various success
criteria, especially under GL 3.1. Part of the problem has to do with
the fact that terms like "cognitive disabilities," "learning
disabilities," and even "reading disabilities" mean different things
in different countries.

It might be possible to address some (not all) of these concerns by by
rewriting the Benefits sections for SC 3.1.1-3.1.5 in terms of
functional limitations instead of named disabilities.

This approach would be consistent with the SC, which describe
functional outcomes.

It would also be consistent with contemporary approaches to disability
itself-  in which disability comes about when specific functional
limitations (e.g., of memory or sight or movement, etc.) encounter
specific features within the (technological) environment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted this "environmental"
approach in its International Classification of Functioning,
Disability  and Health (2001), also known as the ICF
(http://www3.who.int/icf/icftemplate.cfm). The proposals below are
based on the ICF.

There is a useful explanation of this approach on the WebAIM site:

<blockquote cite="http://www.webaim.org/articles/cognitive/">
There are at least two ways to classify cognitive disabilities: by
functional disability or by clinical disability. Clinical diagnoses of
cognitive disabilities

include autism, Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and even
dementia. Less severe cognitive conditions include attention deficit
disorder (ADD),

dyslexia (difficulty reading), dyscalculia (difficulty with math), and
learning disabilities in general. Clinical diagnoses may be useful
from a medical

perspective for treatment, but for the purposes of web accessibility,
classifying cognitive disabilities by functional disability is more
useful. Functional

disabilities ignore the medical or behavioral causes of the disability
and instead focus on the resulting abilities and challenges.

</blockquote>


Proposals follow.

SC 3.1.1
<current>
 people with reading disabilities and cognitive limitations that make
it difficult to recognize (decode) individual words and sentences;

</current>

<proposed>
people who find it difficult to read written material with fluency and
accuracy, such as recognizing characters and alphabets or  sounding
out words with correct pronunciation

</proposed>
(Based on: D140 Learning to read. 2001. International Classification
of Functioning, Disabilities, and Health. World Health Organization.
Available at http://www3.who.int/icf/onlinebrowser/icf.cfm?parentlevel=3&childlevel=4&itemslevel=4&ourdimension=d&ourchapter=1&ourblock=2&our2nd=40&our3rd=0&our4th=0


SC 3.1.2
<current>
 people with reading disabilities and cognitive limitations that make
it difficult to recognize (decode) individual words and sentences;

</current>

<proposed>
people who find it difficult to read written material with fluency and
accuracy, such as recognizing characters and alphabets, sounding out
words with correct pronunciation, and understanding words and phrases


</proposed>
(Based on: D140 Learning to read. 2001. International Classification
of Functioning, Disabilities, and Health. World Health Organization.
Available at http://www3.who.int/icf/onlinebrowser/icf.cfm?parentlevel=3&childlevel=4&itemslevel=4&ourdimension=d&ourchapter=1&ourblock=2&our2nd=40&our3rd=0&our4th=0

SC 3.1.3
<current>
 This success criterion helps people with disabilities that affect
their ability to use context to aid understanding. This includes
people with certain

learning disabilities and cognitive limitationss. In addition, people
with low vision often lose context when screen magnifiers zoom in on a
small area

of the screen. This success criterion also helps people who have
difficulty recognizing words (decoding) or remembering the meaning of
words by limiting

the number of dictionary entries they must read in order to find the
definition that fits the context.
</current>

<proposed>
This success criterion may help people who:


       Find it difficult to sound out words with correct pronunciation
       Have difficulty understanding words and phrases
       Have difficulty using context to aid understanding

</proposed>

SC 3.1.4
<current>

This success criterion helps people whose disabilities make reading
difficult or impossible. These include:

list of 3 items
 People with learning disabilities or cognitive limitations that
impair the ability to read.

 People with low vision. Screen magnification may reduce contextual cues.

 People with memory loss

list end

This success criterion also helps people with disabilities that affect
their ability to recognize words as well as their ability to use
context to aid understanding.

Acronyms and abbreviations may confuse these readers in different ways:

list of 4 items
 Some abbreviations do not look like normal words and cannot be
pronounced according to the usual rules of the language. For example,
the English word

"room" is abbreviated as "rm," which does not correspond to any
English word or phoneme. The user has to know that "rm" is an
abbreviation for the word

"room" in order to say it correctly.

 Sometimes the same abbreviation means different things in different
contexts. For example, in the English sentence "Dr. Johnson lives on
Boswell Dr.,"

the first "Dr." is an abbreviation for "Doctor" and the second
instance is an abbreviation for the word "Drive" (a word that means
"street"). Users must

be able to understand the context in order to know what the abbreviations mean.

 Some acronyms spell common words but are used in different ways. For
example, "JAWS" is an acronym for a screen reader whose full name is
"Job Access

with Speech." It is also a common English word referring to the part
of the mouth that holds the teeth. The acronym is used differently
than the common

word.

 Some acronyms sound like common words but are spelled differently.
For example, the acronym for Synchronized Multimedia Integration
Language, S M I L,

is pronounced like the English word "smile."

list end

</current>

JS note: I'll make several different proposals to modify this material.


1.      Move the material beginning "Acronyms and abbreviations may
confuse these readers " to the end of the Intent section. Change the
word "these" to "some."

2.      Make the Benefits section read as follows:
3.      <proposed>

This success criterion may help people who:


       have difficulty sounding out words with correct pronunciation;
       rely on screen magnifiers (magnification may reduce contextual cues);
       have limited memory;
       have difficulty using context to aid understanding.

</proposed>

SC 3.1.5
<current>
list of 2 items
 This success criterion benefits people with reading disabilities who
can understand complex ideas and processes presented in highly
readable text or by other means such as images illustrating
relationships and processes or through the spoken word.

 Reading and intellectual disabilities affect the ability to
recognize individual words. Decoding must be automatic in order for
people to read fluently.

The act of decoding text word by word consumes much of the mental
energy that most people are able to use for understanding what they
read.

List end
</current>

JS note: Another two-part proposal:


1.      Insert the text below in the Intent section, immediately
following the sentence "This is called decoding the text.":

2.      <begin add>

Decoding must be automatic in order for people to read fluently. The
act of decoding text word by word consumes much of the mental energy
that most people are able to use for understanding what they read.


3.      <end Add>

2. <proposed>
This success criterion may help people who:


       Have difficulty comprehending and interpreting written
language (e.g. articles, instructions, or newspapers in text or
Braille),for the purpose of obtaining general knowledge or specific
information.

       </proposed>

(Based on:  D166 Reading. 2001. International Classification of
Functioning, Disabilities, and Health. World Health Organization.
Available at http://www3.who.int/icf/onlinebrowser/icf.cfm?parentlevel=3&childlevel=4&itemslevel=4&ourdimension=d&ourchapter=1&ourblock=3&our2nd=66&our3rd=0&our4th=0.
See also B16701  Reception of written language: mental functions of
decoding written messages to obtain their meaning.
http://www3.who.int/icf/onlinebrowser/icf.cfm?parentlevel=5&childlevel=6&itemslevel=6&ourdimension=b&ourchapter=1&ourblock=2&our2nd=67&our3rd=0&our4th=1.)



"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director
 Accessibility Institute
 University of Texas at Austin
 FAC 248C
 1 University Station G9600
 Austin, TX 78712
 ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524
 email john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu
 Web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility
Received on Tuesday, 6 March 2007 00:28:01 GMT

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