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CONFORMANCE: new sentence on testability, plus comments

From: john_slatin <john_slatin@forum.utexas.edu>
Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 14:29:58 -0500
Message-ID: <6AC4E20EED49D411941400D0B77E52F006C07056@forum.cc.utexas.edu>
To: "'WCAG (E-mail)'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
In yesterday's telecon I took an action to write a new sentence for the
conformance statement, reflecting the WG's decision that minimum
requirements are testable.  Here goes:
 
John

Current wording for Conformance


In order to claim any conformance to the guidelines it is necessary to
satisfy the "MINIMUM" success criteria of every checkpoint. The minimum
criteria represent those aspects of the checkpoint requirements which, in
the absence of a full implementation, will nonetheless offer substantial
benefit to people with disabilities by removing barriers that would
otherwise make it difficult or impossible to access the content. The Level 2
and Level 3 criteria build upon this functionality, making the content
accessible to people who would not be able to access it, or could do so only
with substantial difficulty, if only the minimum criteria had been met. 

Sites which go beyond the Minimum level of conformance can claim conformance
at higher levels in several ways....

 


Proposed wording for Conformance


In order to claim any conformance to the guidelines it is necessary to
satisfy the <em>minimum</em> success criteria of every checkpoint. The
"minimum success criteria" are those which the WCAG Working Group has
determined to be clearly testable through use of automated evaluation tools,
manual review, or both.  The minimum criteria represent those aspects of the
checkpoint requirements which, in the absence of a full implementation, will
nonetheless offer substantial benefit to people with disabilities by
removing barriers whose presence would make it extremely difficult or even
impossible for some people with disabilities to access the content. 

 

The Level 2 and Level 3 criteria build upon this minimum level of
functionality to make the content accessible to people who would not be able
to access it if only the minimum criteria had been met, or could do so only
with substantial difficulty.  

 

Sites which go beyond the Minimum level of conformance can claim conformance
at higher levels in several ways....


Summary of proposed changes to conformance statement


1.    In the first sentence, I deleted the quotation marks around the word
"MINIMUM" and changed upper case to lower case; I then used the <EM> tag to
mark up the word minimum (on the assumption that the intention of putting
the word in quotes and ALL CAPS was to emphasize it...).

2.    I inserted a new second sentence: "The "minimum success criteria" are
those which the WCAG Working Group has determined to be clearly testable
through use of automated evaluation tools, manual review, or both."

3.    I broke the paragraph in two, in order to separate the discussion of
minimum requirements from discussion of Levels 2 and 3, and put the notice
that there are these additional levels in a short paragraph by itself.  I
consider this one an editorial change for clarity's sake.


JS Comments on conformance statement


I have several concerns about this statement, which I'll note here because
doing anything else would go well beyond the scope of the action I said I'd
take.

 

(1) It appears that the "minimum success criteria" may not be sufficient to
assure even minimal accessibility for some people.  There is a clear
implication that it may be necessary to go to Level 2 or Level 3 conformance
in order to make content "accessible to people who would not be able to
access it if only the minimum requirements had been met."  Is this in fact
what we want to say?

 

(2) The conformance statement says that Level 2 and Level 3 "build on" the
level of functionality achieved by meeting the minimum requirements, thereby
making content accessible to people who still wouldn't be able to get to it
if only the minimum requirements had been met, or making it easier for
people to use (instead of just barely accessible), etc., etc.  But for a
number of the checkpoints, the only difference between "Minimum" and Level 2
is that, at Level 2, the material has been reviewed and the reviewer(s)
believe(s) it meets the requirements.  This is "going beyond" the minimum
requirement in organizational/bureaucratic terms, but it doesn't ensure that
the developers have done anything more than they did to meet the minimum
requirement-so it may not affect the quality of the user's experience.

 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Technology & Learning
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C, Mail code G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu <mailto:jslatin@mail.utexas.edu> 
web http://www.ital.utexas.edu <http://www.ital.utexas.edu/> 
 
 
Received on Friday, 3 May 2002 15:30:03 GMT

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