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RE: Instruction and Assessment

From: Hansen, Eric <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 09:54:57 -0500
To: "'Jon Gunderson '" <jongund@uiuc.edu>, "Hansen, Eric" <ehansen@ets.org>
Cc: "'UA List (E-mail) '" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-id: <B49B36B1086DD41187DC000077893CFB0318C3A9@rosnt46.ets.org>
One follow-up thought.

Perhaps one way to think about this issue is that the User Agent should "by
default" not restrict access to any content. If some content uses the user
agent to restrict access to certain content (or even if the user agent makes
it easy for the content author to restrict access) to some content (e.g.,
for security or other special purposes or applications) then that is okay.
It is not the responsibility of user agent developers to forbid such
activity, but rather to ensure that in the default situation, the user would
have access to all content. Obviously, the realization of full access will
be dependent on authors developing content that permits such access (e.g.,
following WCAG 1.0, other accessibility conventions, etc.).

Isn't this approach in keeping with our delineation of responsibilities? Do
we lose anything by taking this approach? I suppose that such an approach
impinges on our UAAG 1.0 checkpoints insofar as user agents product content
(one checkpoint). 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Gunderson
To: Hansen, Eric
Cc: UA List (E-mail)
Sent: 1/29/01 1:01 PM
Subject: RE: Instruction and Assessment

I think language on restricting access to content for some "higher"
purpose 
is very dangerous.  These are usually the reasons people site for not 
having to deal with accessibility.  This also seems to be an authoring 
issue and I suggest taking it to WCAG for discussion there.  If WCAG 
defines specific authoring practices for testing materials for 
accessibility that need UA support we can deal with those issues in the 
next version of the guidelines.  In testing situations there are
techniques 
that would allow the "questions" and the "answers" not to be part of the

same content.  Even if they are part of the same content it is not
required 
that the all content be available at all times.

Jon


At 12:44 PM 1/29/2001 -0500, Hansen, Eric wrote:
>Jon asked:
>
>"Can't we just reference content that in some way conforms or can
conform to
>WCAG."
>
>My comments:
>
>I think that the working group already decided _not_ to assert that the
>guidelines are based upon an assumption that Web content conforms to
WCAG
>1.0. In other words, the working group declined to assume
WCAG-conformant
>content.
>
>As to whether content "could" conform to WCAG 1.0, I think that it
would be
>hard to develop criteria as to whether one "could" or "could not"
conform.
>
>My main point is that, just as as there may be cases in which access
may be
>restricted to some content by virtue of security or other
considerations,
>there may situations in education, notably educational testing, where
to
>provide access to "all content" (e.g., right answers), would render the
>content useless for its intended purpose.
>
>I am basically satisfied with the most relevant wording, which points
out
>that:
>
>"Restricted functionality and conformance"
>
>"There may be scenarios where a content provider wishes to limit the
user's
>full access to content. For instance, a content provider may wish to
limit
>access to content through an API (e.g., to protect intellectual
property
>rights, or for security reasons), or to provide a "read-only" view
(allowing
>no user interaction). A valid conformance claim remains valid even when
the
>functionality of a conforming user agent is restricted in a particular
>setting. The validity of a conformance claim will be seriously
jeopardized
>if a user agent does not meet the requirements of this document for
>general-purpose content.
>
>"Note: The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group recognizes
that
>further work is necessary in the area of digital rights management as
it
>relates to accessibility."
>
>I don't know that the working group needs to describe in detail what is
or
>is not "general-purpose content". The reason I think that the language
of
>"Text content..." needs to be changed is to avoid the implication that
>educational content is necessarily general-purpose.
>
>  -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@uiuc.edu]
> > Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 12:24 PM
> > To: Hansen, Eric; 'Ian Jacobs'; Hansen, Eric
> > Cc: UA List (E-mail); Ian Jacobs (E-mail)
> > Subject: RE: Instruction and Assessment
> >
> >
> > Can't we just reference content that in some way conforms or
> > can conform to
> > WCAG.  I really don't think we need to start stating all of
> > the different
> > potential sources and uses of content.  This seems to be a
> > discussion that
> > should be in WCAG, not UAAG.
> >
> > Jon
> >
> >
> > At 10:26 AM 1/26/2001 -0500, Hansen, Eric wrote:
> > >You have anticipated my response.
> > >
> > >The principle is that Web-based tests and instruction are
> > not necessarily
> > >considered "general-purpose content." Rather, they may, at
> > least in some
> > >circumstances, be considered "special-purpose content."
> > >
> > >In order to align the remainder of the document with this
> > approach, I think
> > >that this approach may also necessitate a change to the
> > definition of "Text
> > >content...", which, of course is under revision anyway.
> > Essentially, I would
> > >suggest that, pending further revision, the following phrase
> > be deleted:
> > >"that content represents a general mix of purposes
> > (information, education,
> > >entertainment, commerce)".
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: Ian Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
> > > > Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:54 PM
> > > > To: Hansen, Eric
> > > > Cc: UA List (E-mail); Ian Jacobs (E-mail)
> > > > Subject: Re: Instruction and Assessment
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > "Hansen, Eric" wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Known Limitation of the UA Guidelines regarding Instruction
> > > > and Assessment
> > > > >
> > > > > In section 1.3, I suggest adding a known limitation
> > > > regarding effectiveness
> > > > > of instruction or assessments.
> > > >
> > > > Hi Eric,
> > > >
> > > > Here's an argument against adding this: Section 1.2 of the 16
Jan
> > > > draft [1] includes this statement:
> > > >
> > > >    This document was designed specifically to improve
> > > >    the accessibility of mainstream user agents with multimedia
> > > >    capabilities for users with one or more disabilities
> > > >    (including visual, hearing, physical, and cognitive).
> > > >    In this context, a mainstream user agent is one designed
> > > >    for the general public to handle general-purpose content
> > > >    in ordinary operating conditions.
> > > >
> > > > Instructions and assessments would not be
> > > > general-purpose content; this is a particular environment
> > > > with particular restrictions.
> > > >
> > > > So is your concern adequately addressed by the existing
statement?
> > > >
> > > >  - Ian
> > > >
> > > > [1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20010116/#target
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > This is important because provision of
> > > > > alternative representations is central to our accessibility
> > > > strategy, yet
> > > > > depending on what is being taught or assessed, provision of
such
> > > > > alternatives may 'short circuit' or damage the validity of
> > > > an assessment or
> > > > > the teaching effectiveness of an instructional module. How
> > > > this potential
> > > > > for damage is addressed is highly specific to the purpose
> > > > of the instruction
> > > > > and assessment as well as to the intended audience.
> > > > >
> > > > > New:
> > > > >
> > > > > "Effectiveness of instruction or assessments. The document
> > > > does not address
> > > > > issues of effectiveness of instruction or assessments, such
> > > > as how provision
> > > > > of alternative content may affect inferences about what a
> > > > person knows or
> > > > > can do in an instructional or assessment setting. For
> > > > example, the nature of
> > > > > inferences that one could draw about a user's ability to
> > > > understand an
> > > > > auditory presentation may be influenced by an
> > > > accessibility-motivated
> > > > > provision of a text equivalent of the presentation."
> > > > >
> > > > > Other edits are being sent directly to Ian Jacobs.
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
> > > > Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
> > > > Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
> > > >
> >
> > Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> > Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> > Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> > MC-574
> > College of Applied Life Studies
> > University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> > 1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> >
> > Voice: (217) 244-5870
> > Fax: (217) 333-0248
> >
> > E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> >
> > WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> > WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
> >
> >

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
MC-574
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Tuesday, 30 January 2001 09:56:52 UTC

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