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Re: WCAG 2.0 and JAWS

From: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:27:51 -0700
Message-ID: <65155A9DE61643B4AF5D75826D06D2B5@WAMPAS>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To be brutally honest, I don't believe that it's possible for the majority
of the general public to understand what web accessibility actually means.
Unfortunately I found this out the hard way via
Which was very educational from a statistical perspective.

I'm not saying that the general population doesn't care about accessibility.
What I am saying is that those in the general public that actually do
understand web accessibility, consist of a negligible percentage of the over
all population.

For example, if you were to perform a poll across various countries and ask
the question 'What is accessibility, and how do you recognize it?', the
majority of people will talk about physical access such as wheel chair
ramps, cross-walk signals, and so on, because these are concepts that are
easily understood.

Now, if you ask instead 'what is web accessibility, and how do you recognize
it?', you will get entirely different answers, and I guarantee that less
than 1% of the general population will know about and understand what web
accessibility means, and why it's important. Which is ironic, since it
literally impacts billions of people daily.

Besides which, those that absolutely must understand the concepts of web
accessibility are developers.

The general public may be able to recognize accessibility issues if they are
aware of the principles and behaviors, but only the developers have the
ability to introduce accessibility within web technologies from the very
start so that such issues are not a problem to begin with.

As a case in point, when I was building the Kickstarter project referenced
above, I discovered critical accessibility issues in their authoring
process, such as keyboard traps, inaccessible elements improperly hidden
content panels, and a totally inaccessible video player. So I wrote the dev
team with precise coding guidance for fixing the issues, mainly because I
wanted to finish what I was doing and just wanted to minimize the headaches.
The developers didn't understand the concepts and how they directly applied
to Assistive Technology users however, so nothing was ever done.

It was to address this type of incongruity that I wrote the LinkedIn article
regarding the three fundamental principles of web accessibility at

The only way to implement true web accessibility in the future is to involve
engineers at the corporate, organizational, and academic levels. Otherwise,
more and more policies will be created, and relatively few will have the
knowledge or desire to understand them.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karen Lewellen" <klewellen@shellworld.net>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: WCAG 2.0 and JAWS

Patrick, and all.
Finally a moment for this.
In context below...

On Tue, 24 Jul 2012, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

> Who are you blaming here. "The W3C"? It is all of our shared
> responsibility
> to educate the general public.

Granted blame is a far stronger word than fits my posting.  I asked a
still unanswered question.  Still, just who do you believe is the "general
public" on the Internet?

  Do you feel that small businesses in your area
> know nothing about accessibility? Well, go on and educate them. Start
> local
> groups with your peers.

Patrick, there is no *local* or *area* where the Internet is concerned.  I
am  surprised at your comment given the context.
Likewise as I just shared in a prior post, there are no peers either.  All
of us can find
that we require access suddenly, and each individual is going to, as they
should, define what that access means for them.
If anything perhaps generalizing only seasons the confusion.

> "Those in political arena are being told" by whom? Are you suggesting "The
> W3C" is going out to politicians telling them about WCAG? Well, that's not
> the case.

That is far from what I said as well.
Still lets be honest.
I feel very sure that those on this list and the w3c do not generate these
standards for fun.  I am almost certain that people do not travel to these
meetings and take part on this committees for the genius or Budweiser
either for that matter.
You work as hard as you do in order to create uniform  standards that you
want to see  implemented...and so they are.
The work of the w3c gets written into legal jurisprudence, becomes
the heart of, if not the foundation of   federal Provencal and state
People direct others to your door as a way of explaining what is often
beyond them to explain.  People use your work to often cover for the work
they cannot do themselves.
They do it because of your reputation...and your reach.
I still smile when I come across someone calling the w3 c the Internet
police,  for many, no matter how unrealistic, you are seen that way.
Court decisions henge on how someone has or has not used your standards,
and rather a few in the rank and file have heard of you as well.
It is unrealistic for those here to think your effort sits in some
academic tower.  It impacts lives, millions of them.
As a result my question was how you insure some basic understanding of
that work via public relations outside of those you feel are in the choir.
Site creators are very often folks who are running their business and
taking a web design  package off a shelf, but wanting to reach people
around the globe.   They learn, after they fail to
allow access that they are  in need of more information, but haven't a
clue what a java target is etc.
They start asking the same sort of questions that began this thread,
because they well do what many often do  on this list, find an individual
ask what they use and fail to make the distinctions needful for real
access across the board.

My point Patrick is that this work does not exist in a vacuum, so i
wondered how the w3c already lets the air in so to speak...if they do that

> So, there's "a tool" that fails? Are you suggesting "The W3C" should go
> out
> after the tool maker? Again, it is our shared responsibility to call out
> tool
> manufacturers and charlatans in our industry that promise solutions that
> don't deliver.

Honestly?  again I ask who "our shared" refers to.  Also, if the w3c
creates the standards, they have an important mandate to insure those
standards are understood as widely as they wish them to be implemented.
The reality is the the Internet is far from the size of our neighborhood
anymore.  A lack of standards application can  prevent a person from
accessing a site that lives on another Continent depending on on the
business involved.  Via broad public relations, you can at least limit the
ability of someone to do the sort of damage the tool I referenced does.
If memory serves that program got a write up in the New York Times of all
places.  There may already be a strong objective general media effort
done by the w3c, if there is none, clearly there should be.  Not just
because your work deserves correct implementation, but because the end
user is only expert on one thing, how they individually  desire access to
be defined, for them.
Frankly that is why the focus on end user agents, instead of foundations
that when tested with very general things insure universal door, has
me worried.  There are many many tools and as man way to use them as
humans behind the need to use them.  And of course, each time a user agent
changes, the end user must struggle to start all over again in many cases.

> Because you seem to think there's a uniform group at work here ("The
> W3C"?).
> There isn't.

Indeed? then why are those interested in access directed to a variation
in order to find documentation and information regarding the wcag 2.0
Yes there are people behind that label, but your standards and work are
represented as a part of that whole.

We're all people who are interested in accessibility. Do you
> feel there's little effort? Start an effort! Don't just sit back and ask
> why
> nobody's doing anything about it ;)

Patrick, that was not what I asked.
I asked if there is a uniform public relations effort to accompany the
uniform standards creation effort.
What illustrated the need for this of course was the likely well intended,
but profoundly misinformed question about the wcag and jaws...a state of
misinformation that is far more  common than unusual.
That such questions can still be asked suggests that the w3c may not be,
or and I stress this, not to my knowledge matching standards with
external media relations.
As for starting my own movement, I am not sure why you feel I have not in
a way?
I think I have said on the few times I have posted here that I am a media
professional, not a...hmmm w3c content creating professional smiles.
My job is to notice where an audience is not getting the message.
Your very writing a if there is a general public different from the other
benefits from access illustrates my point.  There is no us verses them
here, no  community save the human one who shares in the Internet as a
Realize it or not, but rather a few see the w3c as the source for building
rules on that super highway.  Such is why your word on access is taken so
Many many many have no idea how to articulate what they should experience,
and many many many more cannot understand what access means because they
do not get much of a chance because many are focused on that us
verses them...instead of, here is the common experience.
Personally I end up asking for access as it applies to me, that by the
way is all any individual can do.
But that does not mean I am sitting back so to speak.
One of the things I do as a  journalist via a common ground media umbrella
associated with a nonprofit organization I have produced content for going
on 20 years now is   encourage guide and even take care of the sort of
media I feel should be happening.
I do it as a consultant,  and I do it via the organization.
Anyone wants to ask about  this, write me off list.  I  do not think I can
hang a shingle out here.
We are also always looking for international board-members, nice thing
about being tax exempt is you can say thanks around tax day with

But...my original question was if the w3c has a pr arm equal to the
standards creating one to help curb the sort of assumptions that started
this thread in the first place?

Karen Lewellen

> P
> -- 
> Patrick H. Lauke
> ______________________________________________________________
> re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
> [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
> www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
> http://redux.deviantart.com | http://flickr.com/photos/redux/
> ______________________________________________________________
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> ______________________________________________________________
Received on Saturday, 28 July 2012 08:28:25 UTC

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