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Author motivation/ability, Applicability, Impact

From: Hansen, Eric <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 14:19:22 -0500
To: "AU List (Full Distribution) (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-id: <A12997152E36D31187A4000077893CFB01209219@rosnt46.ets.org>
To: AU List
From: Eric Hansen

As I think about the conversation regarding the issue of author
motivation/ability, I wonder if it is a symptom of a larger concern about
their being too much uncertainty about the meaning and application of the
checkpoint priorities.

Section 1: Three solutions

I see three major solutions or solution facets.

1. Revise wording about author ability. This is the focus of much of the
current ongoing discussion. I am glad to see this effort go forward and
reach resolution. Especially if no consensus can be achieved, I think that
it is quite likely that the working group should look even closer at the
other solutions below.
2. Add a section on applicability. I think that if the working group could
make more explicit situations in which certain checkpoints were NOT
applicable, it would reduce (but not eliminate) the need to say a lot about
assumptions about author motivation/ability. 
3. Re-anchor the priorities to impact on people with disabilities. The main
priority descriptors ("essential", "important", "beneficial") are fairly
loose in their interpretation. These could be tightened up by linking them
more directly to their impact on people with disabilities. See Section 3 of
this memo. Basing the priorities on impact on people with disabilities I
think gives the guidelines more credibility.

I think that all three pieces are probably important: something about author
ability, something about applicability of checkpoints, and better anchoring
of the priorities to their impact on people with disabilities. Section 3 of
this memo, which is an extract from a May 1999 memo refers to each of the
three facets. Some of it may be out of date and it may be more extensive
than is needed, but may help suggest a resolution of this issue. 

How much detail is needed regarding these different solutions depends in
part upon the answers to a question something like the following:

"How likely is it that the presence of extra steps, checks, alerts, prompts,
and other interruptions would be so burdensome to authors (at low and high
levels of motivation and knowledge of accessibility principles) that it
would make the tool unusable." 

The greater the probability that this situation might arise, the greater
detail that is needed regarding assumptions about the author, clarity
regarding applicability, and firm anchoring in impact on people with
disabilities. 

By the way, I am not sure that focus on "motivation" as separate from
"accessibility knowledge" is important. 

====
Section 2: Revised wording regarding ability

Following Phill's recent suggestions, I think that the following is OK:

"The priority levels assigned to the checkpoints in this document assume
that the "author" is a a competent, but not necessarily expert, user of the
authoring tool, and that he or she has little knowledge of accessibility."

My old suggestion:

"In determining priority levels for checkpoints, the working group assumed
that "author" is a competent, but not necessarily expert, user of the
authoring tool, and that he or she has a basic knowledge of accessibility."

===
A Side Note

As a side note, when I posted my suggested wording regarding ability level,
including the reference to "basic knowledge", I had failed to note the fact
that the level had already been changed from "nominal" to "no prior
knowledge". I am really not sure which is correct. Another possibility of is
"minimal knowledge".

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-au/1999OctDec/0288.html

===================
*	Section 3: Eric Hansen's comments from May 1999.
*	Source: http://etsr.digitalchainsaw.com/wcagpub/autl0430f.htm
*	The foregoing was a linked to from the memo: 
*	http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-au/1999AprJun/0243.html
*	1.2 Checkpoint priorities {EH:I-001:(Issue number added 5/18/99. It
was missing.)}
*	Each checkpoint in this document is assigned a priority level that
is based on the checkpoint's impact on people with disabilities. The
specific meanings of the priorities vary between sections 2 and 3.{EH:I-011.
Separation of sections}
*	{EH:I-002:(Issue number added 5/18/99. It was missing.) Note
separate sections (2 and 3)}Section 2 focuses on ensuring that the _content_
produced by the authoring tool is accessible. Following are the meanings of
the priority levels for section 2: 
*	Priority 1: This checkpoint must be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the content produced by the
authoring tool to be impossible to access by one or more disability groups. 
*	Priority 2: This checkpoint should be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the content produced by the
authoring tool to be difficult to access by one or more disability groups. 
*	Priority 3: This checkpoint may be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the content produced by the
authoring tool to be somewhat difficult to access by one or more disability
groups. 
*	{EH:I-012:5/19/99-15:09 hrs}The priority rating assigned to a
section 2 checkpoint is based on the assumption that users of the content
have typical (or average) skill levels in accessing and using Web content.
{EH: I have ignored saying whether this is average for a disability group. I
think one should assume an average of a broader population, though I don't
think that it is necessarily worth stating.}
*	Section 3 focuses on ensuring that the _authoring tools themselves_
are accessible. Following are the meanings of the priority levels for
section 3: 
*	Priority 1: This checkpoint must be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the authoring tool to be
impossible to access by one or more disability groups. 
*	Priority 2: This checkpoint should be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the authoring tool to be
difficult to access by one or more disability groups. 
*	Priority 3: This checkpoint may be implemented by authoring tools
because violation of the checkpoint causes the authoring tool to be somewhat
difficult to access by one or more disability groups. 
*	{EH:I-013:The priority rating assigned to a section 3 checkpoint is
based on the assumptions that: 
*	(1) {EH:I-014: Revised 5/19/99:}Users of the authoring tool have an
skill level that is typical of successful users of that type of authoring
tool. 
*	(2) {EH:I-015:}Users employ the functionality of powerful intuitive
interfaces (e.g., _WYSIWYG [What You See Is What You Get]) instead of
less-intuitive (yet still powerful) interfaces (e.g., direct editing of HTML
codes with a text editor). Without this assumption, virtually no checkpoint
violation would be "impossible", since almost anything involving data can be
performed with a text editor, albeit with extreme difficulty. Note that the
priority rating system is not fully appropriate for authoring tools that
rely only on direct editing of Web pages through a text editor; for such
tools, authoring tends to be slower, but, as noted, virtually no task is
"impossible". {EH: Reference to "generations" is probably not necessary:
"Users generally employ third- or fourth-generation language (e.g.,
_WYSIWYG_ editing){EH: Check on usage}or similar functionality of the
authoring tool instead of first- or second-generation languages (e.g.,
directed editing of HTML codes using a simple text editor). Note that the
priority rating system is not fully appropriate for authoring tools that
rely only on direct editing of Web pages through a text editor; for such
tools, authoring tends to be slower, but virtually no task is "impossible".}

*	The priority ratings for both section 2 section 3 are based on the
assumptions that: 
*	(1) {EH:I-016:}Content produced is of typical variety (information,
education, entertainment, commerce). 
*	(2) {EH:I-017:}Estimates of impact take into account the contrast in
accessibility between consistent (pervasive) adherence and consistent
violation of the given checkpoint. This "consistency" assumption is
important to estimate the full impact. {EH: Note. A second, more subtle
aspect of this is the "contrast" assumption, which is becomes especially
important if one does not define a clear set of reference groups and begins
looking at "subgroups" such as "deaf nonreaders." The "difference"
assumption properly causes a checkpoint requiring visually-displayed text
(which is extremely helpful for deaf readers) to have an undefined impact on
deaf nonreaders, since there is no "contrast" in accessibility with or
without adherence to the checkpoint. (Both conditions are equally
innaccessible.)} 
*	(3) {EH:I-018:}User agents (both to access the content in section 2
and as a typical component of authoring tools in section 3) are those
available (or soon to be available) commercially to members of the
disability group. 
*	(4) {EH:I-019:}All priority ratings are based on a set of reference
groups at least as extensive as the following: 
		{EH:I-020: Insert the list of about 10-12 disability groups
cited in the WCAG document} 
Furthermore, for both sections {EH:I-021:}: 
	1.	Adherence to Priority 1 checkpoints is a basic requirement
for accessible design. 
	2.	Adherence to Priority 2 checkpoints removes significant
accessibility barriers. 
	3.	Adherence to Priority 3 checkpoints improves accessibility. 
{EH: Without this statement, it will take a long time for people to figure
out the the meaning of the priority statements is so neatly partitioned by
section. Please correct me if the meaning are not so easily partitioned
between sections as I have indicated.} 
==

===================
Section 4: Current Version (10 Dec 1999 draft) for comparison:

http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS/
1.2 Checkpoint Priorities
Each checkpoint has a priority level. The priority level reflects the impact
of the checkpoint in meeting the goals of this specification. These goals
are:
*	That the authoring tool be accessible 
*	That the authoring tool generate accessible content by default 
*	That the authoring tool encourage the creation of accessible content

*	The three priority levels are assigned as follows:
*	[Priority 1] 
*	If the checkpoint is essential to meeting the goals 
*	[Priority 2] 
*	If the checkpoint is important to meeting the goals 
*	[Priority 3] 
*	If the checkpoint is beneficial to meeting the goals 
*	[Relative Priority] 
*	Some checkpoints that refer to generating, authoring, or checking
Web content have multiple priorities. The priority is dependent on the
priority in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [WAI-WEBCONTENT].
*	It is priority 1 to implement the checkpoint for content features
that are a priority 1 requirement in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
[WAI-WEBCONTENT]. 
*	It is priority 2 to implement the checkpoint for content features
that are a priority 2 requirement in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
[WAI-WEBCONTENT]. 
*	It is priority 3 to implement the checkpoint for content features
that are a priority 3 requirement in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
[WAI-WEBCONTENT]. 
*	For example:
*	providing text equivalents for images and audio is a priority 1
requirement in WCAG [WAI-WEBCONTENT] since without it one or more groups
will find it impossible to access the information. Therefore, it is a
priority 1 requirement for the authoring tool to check for (4.1) or ask the
author for (3.1) equivalent alternatives for these types of content. 
*	Grouping links in navigation bars is a priority 3 in WCAG
[WAI-WEBCONTENT]. Therefore, it is only priority 3 for the authoring tool to
check for (4.1) or ask the author for (3.2) groups of links that are not
grouped in the markup as a navigation mechanism. 
*	The implementation of the checkpoints will vary from tool to tool.
When a checkpoint within this document refers to the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines, only the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
checkpoints that refer to content supported or generated by the authoring
tool apply, as noted in the relevant checkpoints. In some cases support can
be provided automatically, without the need for explicit author
participation, in other cases human judgment is required and support is
provided by the tool in the form of prompts and documentation.
*	In choosing priority levels for checkpoints, the Working Group has
assumed that "the author" is a competent, but not necessarily expert, user
of the authoring tool, and that the author has no prior knowledge of
accessibility. For example, the author is not expected to have read all of
the documentation but is expected to know how to turn to the documentation
for assistance.
*	1.3 Conformance to these Guidelines
*	This section defines three levels of conformance to this document:
*	Conformance Level "A": all Priority 1 checkpoints are satisfied; 
*	Conformance Level "Double-A": all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints are
satisfied; 
*	Conformance Level "Triple-A": all Priority 1, 2, and 3 checkpoints
are satisfied; 
*	Note. Some example conformance evaluations are available. It should
be noted that conformance claims are not necessarily validated or endorsed
by W3C.
*	Claims of conformance to this document must use one of the following
two forms.
*	Form 1: Specify:
*	The guidelines' title: "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0"

*	The guidelines' URI:
<http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/PR-WAI-AUTOOLS-19991210> 
*	The conformance level satisfied: "A", "Double-A", or "Triple-A". 
*	The product covered by the claim (e.g., tool name and version
number, upgrades or plug-ins required). 
*	The date of the claim. 
*	The checkpoints that are satisfied, and those that are considered
not applicable 
*	Example of Form 1: "MyAuthoringTool version 2.3 conforms to W3C's
"Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0", available at
<http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/PR-WAI-AUTOOLS-19991210>, level Double-A."
*	Form 2: Include, on each statement of conformance, one of three
icons provided by W3C and link the icon to the appropriate W3C explanation
of the claim.
*	[Editors' note: In the event this document becomes a Recommendation,
by that date WAI will provide a set of three icons, for "A", "Double-A", or
"Triple-A" conformance levels of "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines
1.0", together with a stable URI to the W3C Web site for linking the icons
to the W3C explanation of conformance claims.]
*	====
Received on Monday, 13 December 1999 14:19:46 UTC

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