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RE: Financial factors- Investment Considerations

From: LIPKINA,NATASHA (HP-PaloAlto,ex1) <natasha.lipkina@hp.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 23:06:36 -0800
Message-ID: <92D1B98A6B79C348BDA9D5CC23650B1927C127@xsun06.ptp.hp.com>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Cc: 'Sailesh Panchang' <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Below are my two cents re Investment Considerations.  (attached is the same
document in the html format)  
 


 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
/>


1. Replace "investment" with "cost" in this section. Also avoid the term
"capital".


We are talking of costs that might be of a "capital nature" that need to be
incurred less often whose usefulness lasts for more than one accounting
period, as well as costs that might be more repetitive. So it is
inappropriate to use the term "investment". Besides it is not for us to
decide what is capital and what is not- some orgs may treat an expense as of
capital nature and some orgs might treat the same expenditure differently.
This is an accounting term and an accounting decision for an org. So let us
keep it simple and just use "costs". 

 


NL 1. I am in full agreement with Sailesh regarding renaming the section.
The best way to talk about the costs is in association with the benefits.
We need to present a cost-benefit analysis that clearly demonstrates that
the costs are the  long-term investment and, in the long run, will be offset
by the benefits.


 


2. Consider following introduction for this section of the doc:


"It is important for an organization to recognize that making Web content
accessible is not a one time effort and expense but needs long term
commitment as Web content and Web applications undergo changes and revisions
over time. Besides monetary costs, an organization needs to be prepared to
invest the extra time needed for the effort especially during the initial
stages, and also overcome any resistance to changing content development and
deployment processes. " 

 


NL 2. I would mention long-term commitment in relationship to the ongoing
costs but would not emphasize it in this section.  I would not also talk
about other challenges associated with the accessibility introduction
(resistance etc.). Though, I think it is a valid point that should be
mentioned somewhere else.


 


3. "The cost of including accessibility is usually a small percentage of the
overall Web site development cost."


Need to be careful here. (Natasha too sounded a warning on Oct 24 meeting)
This might be true when a new website is being built with accessibility in
mind. Retrofitting can be expensive, might need workflow / process changes /
training etc and often fails to be prioritized as it may involve re-doing
content and may be resisted. Also, what is "small"... can we indicate a
range more objectively? Consider words like insignificant or negligible too.
Argument can be stronger by relating incremental cost of accessibility not
only to total Web content dev costs but to total expenses of running the
org. 

 

NL 3. Fully agree that we should be very careful claiming that accessibility
is a small percentage of the overall development and that "Most of the costs
are early investments at an organization level".  For large web sites,  the
initial investment can be really significant but for small and  static web
sites the cost can be minimal.  I do not think that we can break it even by
the size of the company because the size of the company does not imply that
their web site is large and complex. Though we also need to take the size of
the company into consideration.  Maybe we can break it by two categories:
one-time retrofitting costs (list all costs) and costs associated with the
accessibility integration into the web development cycle.

I would suggest to follow Sailesh advice and just list all the costs that
the company can potentially incur as a result of their accessibility efforts
(either one-time or long-term commitment)

 

 


4. Strongly feel that repeating "leads to cost savings later on" is not
necessary in this section. 


The argument about someone going straight to this section can be made about
any other section, so do they warrant similar inclusion of content from
other sections? 

 

NL. 4.  I feel that it would be beneficial to present the costs and benefits
together.  We need to think about the appropriate format


5. Consider replacing "costs are early investments at an organization
level..." 


by saying : "Very little or nothing needs to be done to make an individual
project accessible once the process of authoring(or building) accessible
content has been internalized at the organizational level." 

 

NL 5. I would be happy if the above statement was true but with the current
status of web technology it is not a true statement.  Even with integration
of accessibility into the web development process, the cost associated with
the testing and selecting the right alt text or other alternatives is pretty
high.


6. Consider listing costs (non exhaustive):


The costs most likely to be incurred for making Web content accessible might
be attributable to the following: 

*	Audit or evaluation of the state of accessibility of website and Web
applications 
*	Tools that allow authoring accessible content 
*	Content management software that integrate accessibility design and
development practices (The above two can be substituted with: Adopting
processes / CMS that allow authoring accessible content; some might even
integrate evaluation and repair capabilities) 
*	Training staff to design and develop accessible Web content 
*	Obtaining transcriptions, translations and captioning for multi
media content 
*	Automated tools for Web accessibility evaluation and repair 
*	Quality assurance / testing processes to ensure Web accessibility 
*	Assistive technologies normally used for computer access by people
with disabilities. Web content can be tested with assistive technologies. (
I put this one here because Shawn has it in the doc. But I cannot vouch for
its effectiveness unless content is tested by knowledgeable and experienced
PWD actually using the AT. WCAG 1.0 also recommendsthat PWDs using AT should
test). 
*	Obtaining certification that Web content is accessible 

 

NL 6.  I fully support an idea of listing the costs.  We can look at the
implementation suite and list all the costs related to implementation
starting from awareness campaign.  But, again, there should be, at least two
case-scenarios.  One for a one-time web development and another one for
integration accessibility into the development process


7. The following content also needs to be introduced into this section 


- preferably after listing the above cost elements. 

"Some of these costs might be incurred more frequently than others. An
organization might choose to outsource some or all of the processes which
will then require retaining consultants well versed in accessibility design
and testing or firms that provide such services. Another organization might
choose to build the capability inhouse by equipping itself with the
necessary tools, software and staff. The costs also depend on the approach
adopted for implementing Web accessibility. some organizations prefer to
assign priorities to various types of Web content. One possible
classification of Web content is:

*	Content that is important from the organization's perspective. For
example, a business might like to make its products and service offering
pages accessible before working on pages that contains content of interest
to investors or job seekers. Another organization might reverse the order.
An organization running a passenger bus / rail network might consider making
its schedules accessible first. 
*	Web applications- secure and non-secure 
*	multi-media Web content that might need extra effort for providing
text alternative content / transcriptions / captions. 
*	static versus dynamic Web content 

The level of accessibility sought to be attained may also influence the
process and therefore the costs. It is possible for instance, that the
efforts and time required for an organization to attain a mandated
accessibility level (if any), that is lower than the one recommended as the
most desirable by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, might be lower. 

Just like itt is more economical and easier to plan and incorporate
accessibility into a physical structure like a new building than an existing
one, it is more easier on all counts to make a new Website accessible than
retrofitting an existing website for accessibility features. In other words,
it costs less to designed and develop a website with accessibility in mind.
"

 

NL  7.  I agree that you need to account for the costs associated with
development of applications, multi-meida etc but I would not mention the
business priorities assigned for addressing accessibility.  But I would
certainly reiterate it many times that accessibility should be an integral
part of the web-development which is much more cost effective.

 

In the nutshell,  I suggest to revamp the section. Make it very simple and
concise that would allow people to build their own cost-benefit analysis.

Best regards,

 

Natasha Lipkina
HP/eBusiness
Accessibility Program Manager
650-236-5409
 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org]On Behalf
Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 6:34 AM
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Subject: Financial factors- Investment Considerations


All,
You might like to read the attached htm file instead.
 
Ref: Investment Considerations
 
1.  Replace "investment" with  "cost" in this section. Also avoid the term
"capital".
We are talking of  costs that might be  of a "capital  nature"  that need to
be incurred less often whose usefulness lasts for more than one accounting
period, as well as costs that might be more repetitive. So it is
inappropriate to use the term "investment".   Besides it is not for us to
decide what is capital and what is  not- some orgs may treat an expense as
of capital nature  and  some orgs might treat the same expenditure
differently. This is an accounting term and an accounting decision for an
org. So let us keep it simple and just use "costs".   
2. Consider following introduction for this section of the doc:
"It is important for an organization to recognize that    making Web content
accessible is not a one time effort and expense but needs long term
commitment as    Web content and Web applications  undergo changes and
revisions over time. Besides  monetary costs, an organization needs to   be
prepared to  invest the extra time needed for the effort  especially during
the initial stages, and also overcome  any  resistance to  changing content
development and deployment processes. "
 
3. "The cost of including accessibility is usually a small percentage of the
overall Web site development cost."
Need to be careful here. (Natasha too sounded a warning on Oct 24 meeting)
This might be true when  a new website is being built with accessibility in
mind. Retrofitting  can be expensive, might need workflow / process changes
/ training etc and often fails to be prioritized  as it may involve re-doing
content   and may be resisted.
Also, what is "small"... can we indicate a range more objectively?
Consider words like insignificant or negligible too. Argument can be
stronger by  relating incremental cost of accessibility not only to total
Web content dev costs but to  total  expenses of running the org.
 
4. Strongly feel that repeating "leads to cost savings later on" is not
necessary in this section. The argument about someone going straight to this
section can be made about any other section, so do they warrant similar
inclusion of content  from other sections?
5. Consider replacing "costs are early investments at an
organization level..." by saying :
"Very little or nothing needs to be done to make an individual project
accessible   once the process of authoring(or building) accessible  content
has been internalized at the organizational level."
6.  Consider listing  costs (non exhaustive):
The costs most  likely to be incurred  for making Web content accessible
might be attributable to the following:  
- Audit or evaluation of  the state of  accessibility  of website and Web
applications
- Tools that   allow authoring accessible content
- Content management software that integrate accessibility  design and
development practices
(The above two can be substituted with:
Adopting processes  / CMS that allow authoring accessible content; some
might even integrate evaluation and repair  capabilities)
- Training  staff to design and develop accessible Web content
- Obtaining transcriptions, translations and captioning for  multi media
content  
- Automated tools for Web accessibility evaluation and repair  
-Quality assurance  / testing processes to ensure Web accessibility 
- Assistive technologies normally used for computer access by people with
disabilities.  Web content can be tested with assistive technologies. ( I
put this one here because Shawn has it in the doc.  But I cannot vouch for
its effectiveness unless  content is tested by knowledgeable and experienced
PWD actually using the AT. WCAG 1.0 also recommendsthat PWDs using AT should
test). 
- Obtaining certification   that Web content is accessible
7. The following  content also needs to be  introduced into this section -
preferably after listing the  above cost elements.
 
"Some of these costs  might be incurred more frequently  than others. An
organization might choose to outsource some  or all of the processes which
will then  require retaining consultants well versed in accessibility design
and testing or firms that provide such services. Another organization might
choose to  build the capability inhouse by equipping itself with the
necessary tools,  software and staff. The costs also depend on the approach
adopted for implementing  Web accessibility. some organizations prefer to
assign priorities to various types of Web content. One possible
classification of Web content is:
- Content  that is important  from the organization's perspective. For
example, a business might like to make its products and service offering
pages  accessible before  working on  pages that contains  content of
interest to investors or job seekers. Another organization might reverse the
order. An organization running a passenger   bus / rail network might
consider making its schedules accessible first.
- Web applications- secure and non-secure
- multi-media Web content that  might need  extra effort for providing text
alternative content / transcriptions / captions. 
- static versus dynamic Web content
The level of accessibility  sought to be attained  may also influence the
process and therefore the costs. It is possible for instance, that the
efforts and time required for an organization to attain a mandated
accessibility level (if any), that is lower than the   one recommended  as
the most desirable by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, might be
lower.
Just like itt is more economical and easier to     plan and incorporate
accessibility  into a physical structure like a new building than an
existing one, it is  more easier on all counts to      make a new Website
accessible  than retrofitting  an existing website for accessibility
features. In other words, it costs less to designed and develop a website
with   accessibility in mind.   "
 
8. We need to  briefly state why websites are inaccessible... in Financial
Factors page or Overview page. It will help put things in perspective.
 
Reasons for inaccessible content
Most managements and Web content designers / developers    are unaware of
alternative Web browsing practices using special access technologies and
unintentionally exclude this segment of users by developing content that is
accessible only to  most non-disabled users
- Assistive technologies   capable of being used for Web access have matured
only in the last decade
- Guidelines for making Web content,  user agents and authoring tools
accessible have   been defined  only since the late nineties
-Absence of legislation requiring Web content to be accessible in most parts
of the world
- The right of people with disabilities to access Web content has been
recognized only in recent years and that too in advanced countries  
Thanks for your time,
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer 
Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com <mailto:sailesh.panchang@deque.com> 
Fax: 703-225-0387
* Look up < http://www.deque.com <http://www.deque.com> > *
 

 




Received on Friday, 31 October 2003 02:06:45 GMT

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