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1 November 2001 WCAG WG Minutes

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lguarino@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 19:21:57 -0800
Message-Id: <200111020321.TAA03611@patagonia>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
In attendance:

WC: Wendy Chisolm
JW: Jason White
KHS: Katie Haritos-Shea
LGR: Loretta Guarino Reid
GV: Greg Vanderheiden
TL: Tim Lacey
ASW: Andi  Snow-Weaver
MM: Matt May
GO: Graham Oliver
KB: Kynn Bartlett
AP: Annuska Perkins
LS: Lisa Seeman
JB: Judy Brewer
CS: Cynthia Shelly

1. Agenda for Face-2-face Meeting: Jason briefly reviewed the proposed agenda. 
No one had any comments.

2. Request for review, Education and Outreach working group.

LS: It is not clear who the intended audience is, so she assumes
corporate rather than non-profit. From her experience in trying to
convince corporations, there isn't anything compelling in the
document. One needs a good market case.  She has seen accessibility
pitches based on mobile argument, and doesn't recommend that approach.
Didn't actually find any information in the document that would
withstand a rigorous scrutiny.

MM: Agrees, based on his own experience. Much of the document doesn't
discuss what corporations look for: return on investment. If that is
the only criteria a company uses, ethical approach won't get far.

LS: I would love to see hard figures. Maybe some market research. 

GO: Is the document overreaching itself? Should we start with the gov
and edu markets before we step into the commerical arena, where the
sell is harder.

LS: This is a document about the business case. There is legislation that 
addresses the other audience.

G: Do we know the target audience? 

LS: I assumed business, since it is called "a business case"

(JB joins the meeting)

JW: Summary: the doc does not provide market-based analysis and
figures needed for RTI-driven organizations. It needs to take into
account arguments and criticisms that will be brought up by these
orgs. There is a distinction between designing accessibly initially vs
retrofitting. An emphasize on mobile support may not lead to
accessible designs. The audience is unclear: who is this document addressing? 
corporate vs gov vs non-profit vs edu

JB: Let me provide background on how the document evolved. We had
envisioned a multi-page (20-25) resource suite. First third: kit for
customizing a business case for different environments. Next third:
customizing kit for implementation plan. Last third: appendices with
detail to support overall theme. e.g. how to develop and
organizational policy, how to evaluate a site, auxiliary benefits.

JB: What I hear is that you are expecting to see how to set up
business case. This doc was just intended to be auxiliary piece.

JB: We need WCAG feedback about whether treatment of checkpoints under
specific benefits is accurate, not misrepresenting the checkpoints.

JB: I'm brainstorming how to make this document the vehicle for how to
make a business case. It would be very difficult. Can we substantiate
what we say better? People really want demographic data. We will deal
with that in a separate document. Need to figure out how many of these
criticisms can be addressed in this document. How much can we address
these problems with an introduction to set people's expectations.

GV: An important issue: don't overstate the case. e.g. glare example
discussed on the mailing list.

GV: There is an important distinction between listing other benefits as side
effects of achieving accessibility and listing other benefits as other reasons
to adopt accessibility solutions.

LS: I wouldn't do that. Arguing for "mobile accessiblity" sidetracks
the case for accessibility. I didn't really find anything in the
document that didn't look overstated.

JB: Does everyone else agree?

JB: Do things besides demographics seem overstated?

LS: Yes, to me

JB: Do others have a similar reaction?

JB: I'm confused - granted that the percentages may be overstated, are
the types of statements we are making also overstated?

LS: Take the argument about search engine placement.  There are so
many techniques to increase search engine placement that it confuses
the issue. And it is using the markup inappropriately. Button alt tags
tend to be generic, so adding them will detract from your search
engine ranking.

LS: There is a real argument to be made for accessibility and we need
to make it. We need to document
- what percentage of users aren't getting the site's message
- what are the chances that they would buy, if they could
- benefits from going to maximal accessibility, instead of minimal conformance

JB: here is the 3 or 4 point outline I plan to take to EO:
  - we need more realistic, precise treatment of demographics, statistics
  - we need to make a careful reexamination of claims on an item by item 
basis (EO will need help with this; we have already reviewed this a number 
of times and thrown out a number of things)
  - there are risk in having this document widely available and promoted 
without its partner documents, including the demographics document and 
document providing framework for the EO approach

JB: We intended to address the issue of audience in the outline
document and provide different modules for different audiences. We
hadn't dealt with the audience question for this document.

GV: The document would be more useful if it were shorter, perhaps
Wwith links to longer discussion. On the question of audience: how
would this be different for different audiences?

GV: I suggest putting the benefits matrix at the top. Putting it at
the beginning is a compact representation of info.

JB: Look at a linear version of matrix. Is this an easier way to start people?

LS: I wouldn't consider most of these matrix elements as
advantages. In a corporate setting, they just look at profit. Gov and
nonprofit orgs judged by other criteria.
 
JB: In talking to many different kinds of orgs, found many different
kinds of reactions and environments. There is often a mix, and there
can be surprises.  There are some corps that care only about bottom
line profit. Some very interested in demographics, some interested in
auxiliary benefits, some are driven by regulationss. Companies also
trying to be leader in social awareness. It is taking a while to assemble
the kit. But try not to prejudge which groups will want which arguments

GO: I find myself agreeing more with Lisa that Judy. Does it have
something to do with the different countries? Do the different legal
environments affect this?

GO: Australia has a higher profile in accessibility, more legal things
in place, but NZ has strong split between corporate and
gov/not-for-profit. Sell to corporate is a different kettle of fish.

JB: That would be an argument for providing both information and a framework
for customizing business case. Is there some way the document itself can be
geared to all these different audiences at once?

GO: Gravest danger is to see an argument put forth in the document,
try to use it, and get ripped to shreds and lose credibility. Document
needs to somehow address this issue, and discuss which arguments are
more credible in which environments.

JB: We would appreciate as many detailed comments as you can
send. Specific feedback on even subtle misgivings is helpful. First of
all, the document should do no harm. Really need to rethink how the
document is presented to avoid creating misunderstandings that are
wrapped up in some of these comments. Some of the claims are quite
problematic, but the way the document is presented to be used is also
problematic.

GV: There is so much emphasis on non-disability part. You start with
the supposition that there is no business case for accessibility
unless you can make a related one, and you are telling corporations
there is no business case for accessibility.

JB: This is not meant to be the business case. It is meant to be
supplemental information. It may not just be an issue of getting the
introduction clearer.  It may be a question that it shouldn't be out
there until its partner pieces are there. Or else it will be
relentlessly misunderstood.

JB: question for Lisa - impression is that even with these proposed
changes, the document will still be doing damage.

LS: yes. The main argument for accessibility is the moral argument,
even in a country without accessibility on the agenda. Will always
find people in corporations with affinity for the cause. It is good
for a company's public relations and positioning.  It might be fun to
gather stumper questions: what have people found, when they go into
companies to make a pitch, are the questions which stumped you?

JB: Many people would not agree that the underlying issue is moral. We
are trying to make the EO resources flexible to you can deal with
whatever combination of motivations drives a company.

GV: "business" comes with "case" 

JB: Perhaps we should revert to "auxiliary benefits" instead of
"business benefits"

GV: You could also remove about 60% of the words and still have same
meaning.  I will send an edited first paragraph as an example.

3. Conformance discussion

GV: Iwant to try an exercise; try to sort the guidelines into
categories.  One basis is presence of success criteria. Another is
mechanical or machine checkablility. Maybe we could walk through the
checkpoints together.

GO: I don't understand the purpose

GV: For conformance, we said only checkpoints with objective criteria
would be normative.  We haven't looked at what effect that would have.

JW: There used to be extremely expensive tools that take formatted
files and set up mapping between formatting and logical structure.
Don't know how far the technology has progressed beyond that.
 
LGR: Based on PDF experience, this is a hard problem.

GO: please summarize the issue we are trying to address

GV: conformance  - how do you judge whether something conforms? Several 
suggestions have been put forward:
 1. All guidelines need success criteria. wanted to make sure there was no 
guideline where it wasn't clear what it meant to conform. Went through 
guidelines and tried to develop success criteria
 2. minimum set - can we exclude things that could be accomplished with 
user agents or machine processing? what things must the author providebecause 
there is no other source?

GO: trying to understand and get clarity so I can explain to others what 
we are doing; still not clear to me

LS: It took me a while until I felt comfortable with these
discussions; the more you hear, the more you get used to the concepts

GO: But this experience is similar to what new people will have when
they try to read the documents; I still don't understand
"normative". It is easy to develop an understanding within the WG, but
need to take that undrstanding and put it into language that can be
used by our users.

GV: If the only way you can understand the guidelines is to be
"assimilated", we have a real problem

LS: There is a difference between comments on the WG list and the
guidelines themselves.

GV; normative has to do with understanding the difference between guidelines
and standards.

KB: this seems like a conflict between the need for clear and simple
language vs complexity of WCAG document: what do we tell other people
who find themselves in a similar situation?

LS: there are techniques: one idea per paragraph, etc

KB: do we think these are sufficient

LS: Clarity of guidelines vs clarity on the list are different. We
have something special because we have communication between people
with different disabilities. With different abilities come different
strong points. Visual impaired seem to have enhanced cognitive
abilities and memory. Need tolerance for other people's styles of
communication. I don't expect to be jumped on for spelling or grammar
mistakes. I can't complain if other people's paragraphs are too long.
Received on Thursday, 1 November 2001 22:22:37 GMT

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