W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2001

Meeting Minutes 04-26-2001

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <kshea@apollo.fedworld.gov>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 09:59:46 -0400
To: "1 W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Thank you Loretta for such good notes..............

HTML version lives here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2001/04/26-minutes.html

I am currently updating the Working Group home page and Minutes History
Pages with these minutes.

TEXT version follows:

n attendance:
Loretta Guarino Reid
Andi Snow-Weaver
William Loughborough
Greg Vanderheiden
Cynthia Shelly
Jason White
Paul Bohman
Gregory Rosmaita
Katie Haritos-Shea
Charles McCathieNevile

Action Item:
GV,JW: Divide guidelines based on Greg's proposal to divide normative 
accessibility guidelines from recommended usability guidelines.

JW: Checkpoint 2.1 (provide more than one path or mechanism to find content)

is still listed as an open issue. How do we decide under what circumstances 
it applies?
CS: Is there a doubt about it?
JW: It doesn't seem to apply universally. There is some content that isn't 
so long or complex that it needs links, search mechanism, etc. Is there a 
complexity threshhold for this? What else can we say about it? How can it 
be stated so it is clear it doesn't apply to every page. 
The second issue is whether the checkpoint can be defined more exactly.
GV: I'm uncomfortable with this.
JW: So am I, but probably for different reasons.
GV: My problem is that we started off with guidelines for accessibility, and

now we are getting deep into usability, and I think we have no business
And for each item we add, we need to realize we are weakening every other 
item. I will be leading a movement to try to elimate about a third of the 
guidelines. I feel we've lost focus on accessibility issues. Or we need to 
divide this into two parts, one section for accessibility and one section 
for web design, good advice, etc. Our definition of priority 1 is that
the guideline, there are people who won't be able to use the content. If 
we don't make pages targeted for people with an IQ of 40, they won't be 
able to use them. If we don't make these guidelines priority 1 for these 
people, they'll be excluded. Anytime a website isn't dead simple, there 
will be some people who won't be able to use it, but we can't make all 
websites dead simple. We are adding more and more checkpoints addressing 
usability issues that are only accessibility issues for people with 
cognitive disability. I worry about how providing more than one path makes 
information more accessible. It makes it more usable.
JW: My problem is that this guideline looks, not technology specific, but
specific to a certain way that web content can be organized. The examples 
seem strongly oriented towards the mixture of UI and info that you get with 
contemporary HTML and don't know if this is what the web will be like
over the next several years. 
CS: Are we being too specific with these examples? because over time these 
solutions will change as technology changes
JW: These examples are things that characterize HTML very well but may not 
charcterize other technologies very well.
CS: Some examples seem like they apply more generally.
GV: "Jump over a link" stands out as having been stuffed in here because 
it needed a home.
JW: It goes under techniques
GV: It used to go under group items.
JW: The HTML checkpoint solutions is where it would live; it is also going 
to become obsolete.
CS: But that is not a reason not to address it. It won't be become obsolete 
for a while.
JW: But it still belongs under HTML techniques.
WA: What are we addressing with this guideline?
CS: This is mostly a cognitive issue, to make it easier for people to 
get where they need to get as easily as possible. I understand what Greg is 
saying about usability, but there is a lot of crossover. It is advantageous 
to get some usability in.
WA: I'm not sure this gets us usability. I don't understand.
??: If you have a big document, you need a summary and some way to get the 
information other than just reading a page at a time. You should provide 
a table of contents or index or search function. 
CS: There is debate in the accessibility community about whether it is 
better to provide lots of navigation functions or one simple option that 
is easy to use.
GV: You ought to be able to do a boolean search on a book. But you put 
that functionality under an Advanced button, not right up front.
CS: It has to do with organizing information. But I can't find the
GV: There is one in WCAG1.0
CS: What about the checkpoint about the logical structure of content. Maybe 
that's where it should go.
JW: Things should be marked in pieces accordingly. The User Agent should 
permit you to manipulate the chunks for navigation.
CS: Guideline 2 says provide interaction to suit users needs and
GV: This should be a priority 2, and it should permit the user to move 
efficiently between different parts of document. Guideline 2.1 should be 
"provide mechanism to permit user to move efficiently through the content".
JW: We are dealing with several issues: 1) the broader question of where 
this guideline should go, and whether it falls into the class of 
accessibility-related requirements, 2) what should the complexity threshhold

be for this requirement, and 3) is it sufficiently clear what it means? 
The examples help clarify.
CS: This checkpoint is understandable, achievable, and measureable, more
a lot of other checkpoints. This checkpoint doesn't seem particularly vague.
JW: What about issue of how complex the content needs to be. The checkpoint
 appears to apply to everything.
CS: It applies to site, not to a page.
JW: if your site is 2 pages, does it apply?
CS: I know about two rules of thumb used by real world web designers.
should be more than 3 clicks from your home page. And no group should have 
more than 10 items. It is usually impossible to satisfy both of these for a
complex site.
GV: How to you group states with these rules of thumb?
CS: alphabetically? geographically? 
GR: Most sites organize states geographically.
CS: or in a list, in alphabetical order.
JW: A long list
CS: in English
GV: If someone arranged the list of countries by continent, and even the
UN wil have trouble finding some countries.
CS: Almost no one with a real site achieves those rules of thumb.
JW: How do we define the complexity at which this checkpoint comes into
CS: 10 pages or more? 5 pages or more? It will be hard to define a hard
But I know it when I see it. This decision must be based on professional 
GR: In the User Agent guidelines, we had a similar issue with the time
on refreshes and pauses. If you choose any number, it will be arbitrary.
It becomes an area for scenarios rather than requirements. 
CS: Help people to exercise professional judgement.
GR: On optional parts, you can only give guidance.
JW: I think we have a proposal that for this guideline, we help people
judgment by giving examples in the techniques documents.
CS: and links to usability documentation. There are web sites and books on 
these topics. Providing info is useful
JW: Examples of application scenarios should be provided. "This applies 
to complex content only". Example will help to develop reasonable judgement.

This solves the threshhold problem for the moment. I think of this as one 
among a number of cehckpoints that individually may not make a difference 
between accessibility and inaccessibility, but jointly they are likely to. 
GR?: A comment on demarcation. The User Agent Guidelines has content types. 
A checkpoint is marked with which content types it applies to. Don't divide 
the checkpoints into 2 classes (object, subjective). Rather than grouping 
checkpoints, label checkpoints.
GV: Flagged with attributes, not sorted into categories. This is important 
since we already have 3 attributes.
CS: And there are person-to-person variations in ease to use.
JW: I find that anything that requires reading through lists of menu items 
or links is useful initially but becomes a nuisance thereafter. I tend to 
use search. 
CM: This is a feature of graphical browsers, e.g., ICAD, Opera.
JW: What dimensions will we use for labels? A set that is supposed to make 
it cognitively easier to work with content. 
GV: I made an initial cut at labeling the guidelines as priority 1, 2, and
A couple are hard to decide. I came up with 9 priority 1, 5 priority 2, and
priority 3 of 21 items.
JW: Please send your categorization to the list.
GV: It will provoke interesting discussion.
GV: First we need to address when  usability is accessibility. For people 
on the edge, any usability problem pushes them over the edge. This means
that every single usability issue becomes an accessibility issue. But we 
really can't go there. For example, for a ramp, 1 in 12 is defined to be 
accessible, but there are lots of people who can't push up that levelof 
GR: Braille labels on elevators can't be used by many (most) blind. And they
introduce cognitive problems, too - which button goes with which label?
GV: These are the nuances we don't want to lose. This is where we see the 
difference between cognition problems and vision problems. We can't deal 
with complete cognitive disability. It becomes a questino of how much of 
the bottom we are going to chop off.
KHS: We need to decide that question.
GV: There will be a lot of flack when we do, but we need to do it. We will 
exclude some people. I don't know where it starts or stops, though. If we 
say we will only worry about people at a certain level of cognitive ability,
we are doing the same things as the marketing people who say that are only 
targeting customers without disabilities.
KHS: We don't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
GV: Consider amazon.com. How will we make this site accessible to someone 
with IQ of 60?
KH: We need to define minimal required cognitive level.
GV: Will we require Amazon to make an alternative web site for those below 
that level?
WA: And a site with a target IQ of 75 is useless to someone with an IQ of
JW: I agree with Greg that that's the problem. The techniques for cognitive 
disabilities should be written out. But I'm not sure how to deal with them 
in this document. Should they be prioritized specially? tagged someway?
GR: If there is an application of WCAG to site in a legal juridiction, if
site is challenged for not meeting cognitive needs, the courts will defer to

whatever is on the statute books.
GV: My problem is that I want to develop a site for teachng thermodynamics. 
I can't create a version for the  cognitively disabled.
GR: There will be different threshholds applied for government entities,
GV: A university course has prerequisites. These should also apply to the
GR: We need to collect these factors.
GV: I suggest that we split the guidelines into 2 categories. The first 
category is those things you must do to comply (at priorities 1,2,3) that
are expected of all sites. Another category contains guidelines that you 
should apply to the extent that you can, and especially if you want to 
target sites for a particular population. This proposal gets us around 
two points. A site can be fully compliant, down to level 3, without 
worrying about this last category. But we don't abandon the cognitively 
disabled. And we can identify who will be most aided by the second class 
of items.
JW: This could be useful. We could try to apply this to guidelines.
GV: This last section would not be normative. They would just be 
recommendations that you do if you can.
WA: Will Greg divide the checkpoints into these two classes?
JW: I'll help
GV: We have to figure out how to provide guidelines that can be applied 
to all websites. But we also don't want to remove everything that can't 
be applied everywhere. e.g. the Sesame Street site shouldn't require the
 same cognitive level as an MIT physics course.
JW: This is a better characterization than objective/subjective. Let's
take an action to look at that division, see what comes out, and discuss it
at a future meeting.
JW: Let's discuss the face-2-face in June. We need to work out the details
the next week or so. Jason and Greg aren't available, except maybe by 
CM: I'd be happy to chair the meeting if Jason and Greg can join by
As ATAG chair, I would like the HTML techniques to make progress. 
GR: I want to make sure there is critical mass, unlike the AU meeting in
JW: Wendy said she would be able to run this, if we go ahead with it.
JW: Any problem with no co-chairs present?
GR: Too good an opportunity to pass up
KHS: Please review the PDF techniques spec. We need feedback on what 
techniques go with which guidelines.
PB: I have a question about Greg's proposal: are we reducing the priorities
just priority 1 and 2?
GV: No, we would still have 3 priorities. There would also be another 
category of items that are usability guidelines that are recommended but 
not normative. (Advice) 
JW: When there is a question as too how much to do something, as opposed to 
whether it was done or not, that guideline probably goes into the second

Katie Haritos-Shea
508 Coordinator / Webmaster, CIW
Department of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
NTIS WebLab for Accessible Design
Room  # 2025
Springfield, Virginia, 22161
ph 703-605-6426  fax 703-605-6826

Received on Friday, 27 April 2001 09:54:49 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:37 UTC