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Re: Low Vision and COGA should Drop Support for WCAG 2.1 if the AG WG is not willing make real change.

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2017 19:02:07 -0400
To: John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>, Gregg C Vanderheiden <greggvan@umd.edu>
Cc: "lisa.seeman" <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>, Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>, "w3c-waI-gl@w3. org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <625cdf7e-dcc9-0d11-da90-6b090240f042@w3.org>
Hi John, Gregg, Lisa, Wayne,

On 4/6/2017 6:13 PM, John Foliot wrote:
> > ALSO PLEASE - lets see if we can figure out a way to capture all the 
> non-testable great guidance we are exposing so that it is not lost 
> just because it isn’t objective criteria based.
> Hi Gregg,
> Interesting that you should mention this. Earlier this year at CSUN, I 
> was floating the idea of publishing multiple documents at the time we 
> publish 2.1. The second document would be those SC that we cannot yet 
> achieve (due to lack of technological solution today), and a third for 
> SC that for whatever reason were not ready in time for publication: a 
> "WCAG 2.1" and an "all the rest" (complete with all the, as you noted, 
> great research and guidance that has emerged from the TFs). My 
> suspicion is that some folks are working on the presumption that 
> anything that doesn't make the cut for 2018 will be abandoned, rather 
> than we'll just pick up where we left off when we published 2.1 and 
> continue towards either 2.2 or Silver.
> Some feedback I heard at CSUN suggested that rather than concurrent, 
> we'd consider stagger the publishing of the 2 documents by an order of 
> weeks, to allow for "absorption",

Speaking up as one of the discussants with John at CSUN on this topic, a 
few clarifications and further thoughts:

  * I continue to strongly support the idea of capturing everything we
    can on cognitive disability supports, at all the different levels we
      o First priority level for attention during WCAG 2.1 development
        should be (IMO) everything that can make it over the threshold
        that the WG has agreed to for WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria, e.g.
        devoting as much effort to writing SC as clearly, and as
        testably, as possible;
      o Second priority level could be capturing everything that doesn't
        make the first bucket, but could usefully be presented in a
        "Best Practices" document (and not waiting till after WCAG 2.1
        to do that, but putting the greatest attention on refining the
        first set first);
      o Third priority could be capturing everything that needs further
        research, for eventual inclusion in updated Best Practices or
        Success Criteria.
  * I suggested that if we take this approach, each of these documents
    should be available in drafts *well ahead* (not just a few weeks
    before or after, but potentially months) of WCAG 2.1 itself, so that
    everyone would get a fair view of which provisions were landing in
    which bucket, and how those would be presented within those buckets.
      o I suggested staggering these because the last time we "went to
        Rec" with WCAG, the amount of work to get all the publications
        and supporting material queued up at one time was very
        difficult, so this was more of a workload issue, not an
        "absorption" issue. Nevertheless, I was only proposing such an
        approach to "staggering" the releases on the assumption that
        people could have gotten a much earlier view of how the material
        in the "Best Practices" doc would be handled before WCAG 2.1 is
      o If it turned out that the different buckets could be published
        on the same day, great -- but I encourage that not to be a
        caveat of using the multi-bucket approach.

That (above) was a discussion about COGA. I think that the issues for LV 
provisions are somewhat of a different sort, but hope that we can find a 
way to make more progress on those as well. And I have difficulty seeing 
how trying to get fewer provisions supporting low vision and cognitive 
accessibility into WCAG 2.1 would be better than trying to get as much 
as we can into WCAG 2.1, so I suggest that we keep that as the goal.

I don't know if any of this helps, but I encourage people to stick with 
the discussion and sort out as much as we can.

- Judy

> and I could envision pros and cons to either path forward, but I 
> strongly think that this might indeed be worth this WG's 
> consideration. I've held back from pursuing this idea before now for a 
> number of reasons, but your comment above prompted me to speak up.
> Chairs, WG, what of this idea? Would publishing everything we have in 
> clearly marked discrete "buckets" (Ready, Almost Ready, We don't know 
> how to do this yet) but either simultaneously or in a stagger fashion 
> - does that make any sense?
> Trying hard to find a way forward.
> JF
> On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM, Gregg C Vanderheiden <greggvan@umd.edu 
> <mailto:greggvan@umd.edu>> wrote:
>     Hi Lisa
>     Well actually  there no formal objections to WCAG 2.0.    There
>     was an informal objection to an early draft  — but that was a year
>     or more before the end.   And a lot of work was done addressing
>     each of the comments submitted. In the end there was no formal
>     objection to the final version of the WCAG.     Also, cognitive
>     was never left out.   There were always provisions in there.  The
>     concern was that there was not enough.   And there still isn’t.  
>     And there never will be enough — because we just don’t know how to
>     address all the issues of these groups in any testable way.
>     We are on the verge of trying again.   And again I guarantee you
>     we will be unhappy — all of us — in what we can craft that address
>     the needs of these groups and still qualifies as criteria
>     (testable statements) and can be applied across all content.    
>     We need to not eat ourselves in angst at what we cannot figure out
>     how to do — and focus on figuring out how to do as much as we can.
>        And that will include running at the same things over and over
>     — even when we “know” we can’t figure it out.    We can’t give up.
>     Now that doesn’t mean we can get through something by just
>     restating that it is important to get it in — and not coming up
>     with solutions to the issues identified. That is just crazy making
>     and gets people yelling at each other.  But whenever a flaw is
>     pointed out — we need to really thing and work to find a way to
>     solve it — or wall it in — so that we can get as much as we can in.
>     It will not be easy.   Even Clayton Lewis who has been a champion
>     of this for decades - has pointed out how hard this area is to
>     find qualified testable criteria.    But lets see if we can get
>     further than last time.
>     ALSO PLEASE - lets see if we can figure out a way to capture all
>     the non-testable great guidance we are exposing so that it is not
>     lost just because it isn’t objective criteria based.
>     thx
>     G
>     Gregg C Vanderheiden
>     greggvan@umd.edu <mailto:greggvan@umd.edu>
>>     On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:44 AM, lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com
>>     <mailto:lisa.seeman@zoho.com>> wrote:
>>     Hi Gregg
>>     I am not sure going over old wounds is very helpful now, but I do
>>     feel the need to respond to some of the claims bellow.
>>     As I recall the wording changed considerably as a response to the
>>     formal objective on cognitive being left out. Until then WCAG
>>     claimed to define and address the requirements for making Web
>>     content accessible to those with learning difficulties, cognitive
>>     limitations and others (see
>>     https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2006AprJun/0368.html
>>     <https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2006AprJun/0368.html>)
>>     My interpretation and recall of what it was like working on 2.0
>>     is very different. As I remember the biggest reason for rejecting
>>     SC for coga was "author burden" and "author freedom" - something
>>     that affected other SC as well but were not consistently applied.
>>     We tried very hard to minimize this such as developing CSS
>>     techniques and RDF techniques , but they were all rejected. You
>>     will notice a lot of the members of the working group (at the
>>     time) and I think all the experts that you mentioned were part of
>>     the objection and frustrated with the process. I think this might
>>     show that there was less consensus.
>>     more comments in line
>>     All the best Lisa Seeman LinkedIn
>>     <http://il.linkedin.com/in/lisaseeman/>,Twitter
>>     <https://twitter.com/SeemanLisa>
>>     ---- On Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:49:09 +0300*Gregg C
>>     Vanderheiden<greggvan@umd.edu <mailto:greggvan@umd.edu>>*wrote ----
>>         This language is misleading (paragraph 1 ) and inaccurate
>>         Paragraph 2 — and does nothing to advance accessibility
>>         except throw chaff in the air.
>>         Gregg C Vanderheiden
>>         greggvan@umd.edu <mailto:greggvan@umd.edu>
>>             On Apr 5, 2017, at 6:50 PM, Wayne Dick
>>             <wayneedick@gmail.com <mailto:wayneedick@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>             The assumptions of WCAG 2.0 cannot support low vision or
>>             cognitive disabilities in ways essential to access.  A
>>             page can pass WCAG 2.0 at level AAA and fail to be usable
>>             by people with low vision and cognitive disabilities.
>>         WCAG 2.0  at level AAA does not make everything accessible to
>>         ANY everyone with ANY disability.   There are people who are
>>          Blind, have low vision, are  hard of hearing, deaf,  and
>>         have cognitive, language, and learning disabilities who
>>         cannot use pages that are AAA.      So the statement above is
>>         true — but it is true for all disabilities.
>>         There are also people with ALL lf these disabilities that CAN
>>         use pages with AAA and even AA.
>>         Lisa: this is not really true. there are many different
>>         cognitive disabilities. Although people with a mild learning
>>         disability like ADD can us most AA content, most cognitive
>>         disabilities will only find this content usable if other
>>         principles have been applied that are  outside WACG AA or AA
>>         (sometimes this is achieved by user testing - but that is not
>>         thanks to WCAG)
>>             WCAG 2.0 did worse than nothing for low vision and
>>             cognitive disabilities. It created the illusion that we
>>             were helped when we were being left out.
>>         We were left out?
>>         Lisa: yes. were left out and are left out. And as technology
>>         become more important to daily life this means more and more
>>         coga LV people are needing help to perform daily tasks such
>>         as making a doctors appointment or holding a normal job.
>>         This is very real  and it is getting more and more urgent.
>>             This may be hard to accept if you worked hard on WCAG
>>             2.0. However, it is time to accept this fact and start
>>             solving the problem. 
>>         If you read WCAG 2.0 you will find that it is NOT hard to
>>         accept if you worked on WCAG 2.0 —  in fact we made a point
>>         of saying in the introduction to WCAG that  WCAG is not able
>>         to address the needs of people with all types, degrees, and
>>         combinations of disability.
>>         But the working group spend over 3 years trying to find and
>>         put in as many provisions as it could on cognitive, language,
>>         and learning disabilities.  It brought in experts, it combed
>>         the literature, it engages leaders in the area.       We
>>         faced the same problem you did with this area.   Whereas we
>>         found many things that could help people with cognitive,
>>         language, and learning disabilities,  it was hard to find
>>         things that were consistent and testable.
>>         Saying we did not look at this or consider it is simply
>>         rewriting history.
>>         You are about to embark on the same painful journey we did.  
>>         You will identify many things that can be done to some web
>>         pages or some things or things that can always help but
>>         cannot be quantified or tested etc.    Making things simpler
>>         is always good — and it is my opinion that almost all content
>>         could be made 20% simpler with no loss of content or
>>         function.   But It can’t be made 20% simpler again after that
>>         without loss.    And what does simpler look like.   And what
>>         is the measure.   And simpler isnt accessible.   And nothing
>>         is simple enough that every one can understand it (just like
>>         200% OR 400% larger cannot be seen by everyone.   But with
>>         magnification we can measure it.    How do you measure
>>         simplicity?       That is the killer.
>>         It is not that we did not care about cognitive, language, and
>>         learning disabilities.   It is not that we didn’t spend time
>>         on it.  We actually spent more time on it than any other
>>         disability.  But we could not find anything more that could
>>         be turned into and SC.    So we made the rest into advisory
>>         techniques.
>>         I hope that you are able to find more than we did.
>>         But you will find it a very painful process.    Painful
>>         because you want to — but it is really hard to find things
>>         that are quantifiable and testable — and you cannot REQUIRE
>>         people to so things where you cannot tell them (and they
>>         cannot tell themselves ) if they have done them.
>>         I wish you well.    I will help as I can.    But don’t let
>>         your zeal to get thing in — push you to forget the
>>         requirements - or they won’t fly and it will wreck you
>>         ability to adopt those things that do qualify.
>>         And stop throwing rocks at those who went before you.   If
>>         you find things they did not - then congratulate yourselves.
>>           But don’t denigrate those that spent so many years of their
>>         lives trying before you.    You will have more sympathy as
>>         you try to get things all the way to the finish line.   You
>>         will find you have to leave many on the table if you don’t
>>         want to graduate things that do not qualify.
>>             There is no point of 2.1 continuing the false illusion
>>             that it provides meaningful help, when it does not. 
>>             Low vision needs a few fundamental things.
>>             Personalization of text: font-family, spacing, color. The
>>             precise limits are these: any font family the user
>>             chooses, spacing that has been proven to be useful, and
>>             16M colors. We need ability to enlarge significantly at
>>             least  400% with word wrapping. We need single column
>>             access. That is what is needed. If the WCAG 2.0
>>             assumptions cannot support this need then we need to
>>             change the assumptions.
>>         What assumptions are you referring to in particular?
>>             I am sure there are similar bedrock issues for Cognitive
>>             Disabilities.
>>             The basic idea of accessibility for a disability is that
>>             a person with the disability can use the resource. Right
>>             now WCAG does not support access for the majority of
>>             people with visual disabilities and most people with
>>             cognitive disabilities. That is just a fact. COGA and
>>             LVTF have documented this decisively.
>>         Not sure about majority.   And I assume you are talking about
>>         use without AT?
>>             ​If the AG cannot change some WCAG 2.0 assumptions then
>>             would the W3C just stop claiming they make guidelines
>>             that provide access to people with disabilities when it
>>             fails to do so. Just say the WAI gives guidance on how to
>>             help some disabilities​. State explicitly that Low vision
>>             and Cognitive disabilities are not included.
>>         ??????     Are you talking about assumptions ?   or are you
>>         talking about the basic requirements for an SC.     Those
>>         requirements are not anything that the AG (?) made up.  Those
>>         are the definitions of a Criterion.       Something that is a
>>         criterion must be testable or it can’t be a criterion.    
>>          And if you say it applies to web content - and must be
>>         applied to all web content then it must indeed be implemented
>>         able on all web content etc.
>>             With that admission, people with these disabilities could
>>             then proceed to devise guidelines that would help us
>>             without the interference of WAI.
>>         You ARE the WAI.    We are the WAI.
>>             Right now WAI is harming these disabilities because
>>             developers and legislators believe that if they follow
>>             the WCAG guidelines than most disabilities are covered.
>>             This is false. Low Vision and Cognitive Disabilities are
>>             not covered. 
>>         They are partially covered.  Everyone knows they are not
>>         fully covered.  This was made clear by every member of the
>>         WCAG 2.0 Working group that worked on WCAG and 508  etc.
>>             The WAI just failed these disabilities. Live with it. WAI
>>             can do something about it, live in denial, or leave the
>>             field to people who know how to help. 
>>         No comment.        Except that I know that the WAI and the
>>         WCAG 2.0 WG all hope that you can succeed in finding more
>>         qualified SC for these groups.
>>         I still think that you will find that MOST of your ideas and
>>         that MOST of the things that can be done for people esp with
>>         cognitive, language, and learning disabilities cannot qualify
>>         as SC.    And this is why I was URGING this group to focus
>>         not on SC but on putting together a great document on how to
>>         make things more accessible to these groups.    Not one
>>         limited to SC but one that could write about what should be
>>         done without all the limitations that SC have on them.     I
>>         still hope that this can be done.
>>         Good luck with the efforts to find more things that will help
>>         make things more accessible.    When you are done content
>>         STILL will not be accessible to all.   But it will be
>>         accessible to more.
>>         Just don’t weaken all the work by including things that do
>>         not qualify as criterion  -  because they are good ideas and
>>         will help.    It will not lead to adoption of your work as
>>         anything that can be required if it cannot be determined
>>         reliably when they are met or if they are not generally
>>         applicable etc.    And that would be the biggest loss.
>>         g
> -- 
> John Foliot
> Principal Accessibility Strategist
> Deque Systems Inc.
> john.foliot@deque.com <mailto:john.foliot@deque.com>
> Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion
Received on Thursday, 6 April 2017 23:02:31 UTC

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