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RE: Report on WCAG2 comments relating to cognitive, learning, and language disabilities

From: lisa <lisa@ubaccess.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 09:59:26 +0200
To: 'Loretta Guarino Reid' <lorettaguarino@google.com>, 'Jonathan Chetwynd' <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, 'Sofia Celic' <Sofia.Celic@visionaustralia.org>, 'Jan Dekelver' <jan.dekelver@khk.be>, 'Chuck Hitchcock' <chitchcock@cast.org>, 'Hiroshi Kawamura' <hkawa@rehab.go.jp>, 'Gez Lemon' <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, 'Clayton Lewis' <clayton.lewis@colorado.edu>, 'Gian Sampson-Wild' <gian@tkh.com.au>, 'Keith Smith' <k.smith@bild.org.uk>, 'Roberto Scano' <rscano@iwa-italy.org>, 'Stephen Shore' <Tumbalaika@aol.com>, 'Nancy Ward' <nward@thedesk.info>, 'Paul Bowman' <pbowman@gmu.edu>, 'John Slatin' <jslatin@mail.utexas.edu>, 'Elbert Johns' <ejohns@thearclink.org>
Cc: 'Gregg Vanderheiden' <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, 'Michael Cooper' <cooper@w3.org>, 'Judy Brewer' <jbrewer@w3.org>, 'WCAG' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <0JEU00DFC0VTBRA0@mxout5.netvision.net.il>
A few clear and important problems with these resolutions
the new improved wording seas:

"Abstract: Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a
wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision,
deafness and hearing loss, learning difficulties, cognitive limitations,
limited movement, speech difficulties, photosensitivity and combinations of


"introduction: Although some of the accessibility issues of people with
cognitive, language, and learning disabilities are addressed by WCAG 2.0,
either directly or through assistive technologies, the WCAG 2.0 guidelines
do not address many areas of need for people with these disabilities. There
is a need for more research and development in this important area."

I have a very strong objections to this wording. 

I believe it is designed to mislead

It makes it appear that following WCAG enables the best level of
accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities to date, and until
further research is done this is the best that you can do for these

" to call out the need for more research in this area"  this has very little
to do with WCAG.   Many proven techniques have been found by the team  are
not reported in WCAG. Also  and there is more research in this area then for
blind access for example.

I see the call for more research  as a "red hearing" or something to divert
attention from the real problem.

(such as use of concept mapping which definitely without question makes
content accessible to people who can not access it otherwise)

Further, many of the techniques used by other guidelines are still not in

Take a look at some of my reports on other standards and how they support
access for learning disabilities that was sent to WCAG  in 2001 !



We still have not got to this level. (From 2001 folks - we still did not get
them in in 2007)

What about the problems we had within the WCAG working group itself, were
use of long numbers and codes made issues impossible to track without a good
short term memory.

WCAG eventually improved the process (Thanks Loretta) but these problems
are not considered issues in WCAG 2 - even though the group themselves
experienced the affect of reliance of short term memory being an unnecessary
barrier to participation.

Giving the impression that we are doing all that is possible today is

I propose  that  the words " There is a need for more research and
development in this important area." be dropped from the introduction. Then
people will be aware that WCAG is not the best place to look for this.

Issue  two:

Putting things in advisory techniques, s a good idea, but this concept needs
to be worked out

a, the term "advisory" suggests that it is less important then required
success criteria techniques. I suggest changing the name to "non testable

b, the techniques included seem "add hock" or what ever seems a good idea at
the time. I suggest we make a tougher roadmap about building up these
techniques so that we are properly covering\

c, Even if they are hard to test, an author should be a ble to make a
conformance statement if they fulfil them. If nothing else this enables
people to locate  pages that they may be able to use.

Issue three

looking at the text:

Using the clearest and simplest language appropriate for the content.
- we were stuck with this one last time round. The word appropriate  is a
blanket loophole for people to say they have done this without doing a
how about the wording
write  clearly and simply
or provide clear and simple text


From: Loretta Guarino Reid [mailto:lorettaguarino@google.com] 
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 5:48 PM
To: Jonathan Chetwynd; Sofia Celic; Jan Dekelver; Chuck Hitchcock; Hiroshi
Kawamura; Gez Lemon; Clayton Lewis; Gian Sampson-Wild; Keith Smith; Roberto
Scano; Lisa Seeman; Stephen Shore; Nancy Ward; Paul Bowman; John Slatin;
Elbert Johns
Cc: Gregg Vanderheiden; Michael Cooper; Judy Brewer; Loretta Guarino Reid;
Subject: Report on WCAG2 comments relating to cognitive, learning, and
language disabilities

The attachment to this email contains a report on the proposed responses to
the comments received relating to cognitive, learning, and language
disabilities. We will be discussing these at our meeting on Tuesday, March
13. Details on the meeting logistics will be sent in a separate message. 

Received on Tuesday, 13 March 2007 08:05:23 UTC

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