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Re: suggestions for How to Report Inaccessible Websites

From: Andrew Arch <andrew@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 17:00:54 +0100
Message-ID: <4A40FC36.8080101@w3.org>
To: Jennifer Sutton <jsuttondc@gmail.com>
CC: wai-eo-editors@w3.org
Hello Jennifer,

Thanks for the editorial input, they were very much appreciated - see my 
notes in your text file. An updated draft will be published shortly.

Andrew
--
Andrew Arch
Web Accessibility and Ageing Specialist
http://www.w3.org/People/Andrew/
http://www.w3.org/WAI/WAI-AGE/

Jennifer Sutton wrote:
> EO Editors:
> 
> Attached is a text file containing a number of possible edits to How to 
> Report Inaccessible   Websites.
> 
> I refer to Sharon's message from after Friday's call, actions from the 
> Minutes, etc.
> 
> These are the suggestions I'd indicated I would send during Friday's call.
> 
> I'm new, so thanks in advance for taking that into account.  My aim with 
> these ideas was to help with tightening the language, rather than to 
> introduce anything new or controversial.
> 
> Best,
> Jennifer
> 

Suggestion considered 23/June and resposnes noted below with "AA:"
Andrew Arch

Jennifer Sutton
Proposed Changes and Notes Related to
How to Report Inaccessible Web sites
Version posted: 2009_06_18
at:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/responding/


This document submitted:
2009_06_20

These proposed changes seek to take into account the actions and discussion on the 2009_06_19 call; minutes are  at:
http://www.w3.org/2009/06/19-eo-minutes


I also mention most of the changes posted to the wai-eo-editors@w3.org list by Sharon after the call.

Numbering is provided for tracking purposes, rather than implying priority.  Heading references have been included to facilitate tracking, per Andrew's request.  Changes are noted in brackets [], when necessary. Explanations are surrounded by <js></js>. When I rewrite a "chunk," I've quoted it in full and written "*** Change to:" above my new text.

Suggested words to check for repetition, once comments are integrated:
-- many
-- complaint
-- problem
-- contact
-- feedback (I may have introduced too many of these)
-- Too many paragraphs start with "if?"

Take care if "chunks" of text I have written are inserted.  I have tried to adopt the writing conventions I see, but since I am new, I can't promise I have adhered to W3C writing style.


1.  "Want to complain about an inaccessible website? This document helps you be more effective."

Change to:

Want to complain about an inaccessible website? Here's
how." 

Or

Having accessibility problems and want to complain? Complain like a pro, and help
make the web a better place.

<js>too many "complain"s?</js>

http://www.w3.org/2009/06/19-eo-minutes.html#action04


AA: used -  Having problems using a website and want to complain? Here's a way to make the web more accessible.

2. Tips and Advice:

Change to
Overview

<js>Perhaps remove the colon.  There are other ideas in the minutes -- summary, key points; Overview just happens to be my preference.  but does it work right next to the "page content?"</js>

Recorded:
http://www.w3.org/2009/06/19-eo-minutes.html#action03


AA: Done

<h2>Approach</h2>

3. "First, understand that Web accessibility barriers are [usually -- change to often] unintentional."

See:
http://www.w3.org/2009/06/19-eo-minutes.html#action05


AA: done

4.  "Your [complaint -- change to feedback] may"

AA: Done - and "may be the motivation" changed to "might be the motivation" to avoid repetition of "may"

5.  From Sharon:

Change:  Approaching an organization with an angry, aggressive tone will usually reflect badly on you and the accessibility cause, and not result in a good response. 

To: Approaching an organization with an angry, aggressive tone will usually reflect badly on you and the accessibility cause.  As a result, you may not get the best outcome. 

AA: Done

 6. <js> With respect to the UN Convention and National Laws, we might want to try to move away from "things like."  Perhaps something like "in significant legislation such as," but I am not sure that the UN Convention is considered legislation.  Perhaps "significant documents" or "publications?" Or "significant publications or legal documents such as"  But that's too wordy.</js>

AA: reworded

7.  "While it is best to approach an organization gently at first, be firm and recognize
that you might need to [get tougher in subsequent follow ups -- change to become more assertive if further follow-up is necessary.]"

AA: good - thanks

<h2>Why Bother</h2>

8. From Sharon:
Change:  Your effort in taking the time to contact an organization that has an inaccessible website may turn out to have an impact and result in improvement that will benefit many others. 

To: Your effort in taking the time to contact an organization that has an inaccessible website may have an impact and result in improvement that will benefit many others. 

AA: see "9" below

9. <js>Here is a rewrite of this section in an effort to take all comments into account and especially to eliminate the word "many."</js>

Others are likely experiencing the same or similar problems as you are when visiting a website. If you take the time to contact an organization with an inaccessible website, your effort will benefit those people, too.

Remember that web developers must handle many tasks, but issues raised by customers frequently take priority."

Complaints from individuals with disabilities and organizations that assist them, as well as from organizations for older people, have resulted in improvements to the Web for all site visitors.

<js>Maybe this is too short, but if I haven't left out a significant idea, perhaps it works.  I tried to take into account Alan's comments about getting results, but without mentioning specific instances.  It's hard to make this point a strong one without specific citations i.e. Target or the like.</js>

See:
http://www.w3.org/2009/06/19-eo-minutes.html#action08


AA: thanks - used in part

<h2>Finding Contacts</h2

10. <js>Here's an effort at tightening this section. We may want to make this into a bulleted list. I focused on leaving it as prose.</js>

If you are approaching an organization directly, doing some research to locate the best person is valuable. Try to find someone at a senior level.

Most sites will have a "contact us" link in the navigation area, at the top, or at the bottom of the page.  These "contact us" pages may provide a
form to complete, an email address to contact, or a phone number and address to use.

Some organizations have a specific point of contact for accessibility issues.  A page link with the word "accessibility" in it is one place to check.  "Legal", "copyright" or "disclaimer" pages may have contact details, too.

If you have found more options than a generic email address or feedback form, consider contacting the manager of the publicity or communications section, or the manager of the information technology section.  These
groups may be responsible for an organization's website.
Larger organizations, especially government departments and educational institutions, have disability officers or coordinators, and these people can be helpful as you advocate for accessibility.

If you are contacting the organization by email or letter, you might decide to send a copy to a relevant disability or older peoples' organization.

AA: some good ideas here - thanks

<h3>Feedback Forms</h3>

11.  <js>Here's a pass at tightening this section, without changing ideas. Note, though,  the one new idea, here, of saving electronic copies of forms, as well as printing them.  May be too complicated.  It's certainly not worth emphasizing.</js>


Using a feedback form is a good first step. Some of these forms will allow you to report issues by visiting a page with a name like "problems with our website."

When a site has a page with a name such as this, it suggests that the organization welcomes customer feedback and will respond positively to your input.  The feedback form might be a simple "contact us" form, but these are still worth considering. Before you submit a form, print and perhaps save an electronic copy of it for your records.

Feedback forms sometimes have questions to help categorize your message. If you encounter one of these, make the best choice(s) you can so that your response will be directed to the most appropriate section in the organization. If you
get an immediate "thank you for your feedback" reply, do not assume your comments have been read. These automatically generated responses tend to mean only that your input has been received.

AA: thanks for the suggestions - many incorporated.

<h3>Other Contact Options</h3>

12. "or the public companies register."

<js>Will this phrase be internationally understood? I think I know what it means.</js>

AA: lets see what feedback we receive during the comment period

13.  "You could then write a letter to the Managing Director, the Communications Manager,
or the Information Technology Manager. Within a large organization, the more senior
the person you write to is, the more likely it will find the right section to be
handled appropriately, and the more likely it is to be recorded and acted on. Within
a small organization, the Managing Director may well be the person in charge who
can get action taken."

*** Change to:

Writing a letter to the Managing Director, the Communications Manager,
or the Information Technology Manager can be effective not only when there is no way to contact an organization electronically, but also when your email message or feedback form is not getting a response. In a large organization, the more senior the person you write to is, the more likely your complaint  will reach someone who can take action on it.  In a small organization, the Managing Director may be the person with the authority to assure that the changes you are requesting are implemented.

AA: good suggestions - thanks

 <h3>Alternatives to Direct Contact</h3>

14. "If you don't feel confident contacting an organization directly, consider approaching
a disability or older peoples' organization to complain to them on your behalf."

*** Change to:

If you don't feel comfortable contacting an organization directly, consider approaching a disability or older peoples' organization.  They may be willing to submit a complaint on your behalf. When you bring an inaccessible website to the attention of disability or older people's organizations, the resulting complaint may carry more weight than an individual comment might."

<JS>This last sentence introduces a new idea and may be stating the obvious.</js>

AA: good suggestion

15.  @@ more information?

<js>I'm not sure more info is needed.  I'm a bit of an old-fashioned writer, so I try to have two sentences in a paragraph.  But I'm not sure this is essential in a document like this or that we have more than one sentence elsewhere.</js>

<h2>Reporting a Problem</h2>

16. "you encountered"

<js>Delete this</js>

17. "about your computer system"

<js>Change link words to

what kind of computer system you have

I'm trying to make these three bullets a bit parallel, but I am not so sure this is critical in a doc like this.  It would require changing the link in the navigation.</js>

AA: thanks

<h3>What is the Problem</h3>

18. <js>Here's an effort to tighten this section, with a focus on eliminating the word "problem."</js>

Try to describe in detail what you cannot do or are having difficulty doing.  Providing as much detail as you can may enable the organization to understand and fix the problem quickly.  Describe the steps you were taking
before you encountered the problem. If you've been able to view similar pages, or access similar services, on another site, you might mention this, including the name of and link to the site that works well for you.. If you are an experienced web user, or have some knowledge of web technologies, you may be able to describe the problem in detail. To encourage the organization act on your
feedback, it should be constructive and useful.

Explaining the impact your disability or impairment has on the way you use a computer and browse the Web will help the website owners understand the problem.  If you can discuss specific techniques you use when accessing the web, developers will be better able to repeat your experience and understand the trouble you are having.

<js>I thik this last sentence, above, is what the current draft implies, but I'm not sure it might be clear to everyone. Maybe it's introducing an unwanted direction?</js>

AA: good suggestions - mostly incorporated

19.  "if you use some form of assistive technology
 such as screen magnification software, speech recognition software, screen reader
software, etc, [then telling the organization you are writing to what the software
is and any details such as version or settings -- change to mentioning the name of the software, its version number, and any specific settings you have]  can assist [them -- change to developers] to diagnose and address
the problems

AA: thanks

20.  "Some people [delete will] have multiple browsers installed. If you do [delete have more than one browser],
you should try [and -- change to to] replicate the problem with all [add of] them[add . and del - change tto T]his [add additional testing on your part] can lend weight to
your claims of poor accessibility.

AA: thanks

<h2>Keep Records</h2>

21. "Don't forget to document everything[add . and del - change c to C]reate a "complaint [log or] diary".

AA: done

22. "It is recommended to keep copies of your correspondence (or notes of any online forms
submitted or phone calls made), and the dates you interacted with the organization,
in case you need to follow-up further or want to lodge a more formal complaint in
future."

*** Change to:

Keep  copies of all correspondence, printed versions of forms submitted online, and notes about phone calls made.  Retaining the dates you interacted with the organization and the names of all contacts is ideal.  Complete records are useful if you need to follow up further or want to lodge a more formal complaint.

AA: much clearer - thanks

23.  "when I try to ... (describe what you [change where to were] trying to do on their site).

AA: done

24.  Dear Citylights Marketing [Manger -- change to Manager],

AA: done

25.  using [change you to your] website.

AA: done

26. I recently visited your ticket offers page (http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/2005/Demo/before/data)
and was having difficulty understanding the different types of tickets available
for Thelonius Mank as a result of the black text on the gray background.

<js>  Two items:

A.  Will the url above be made into an interactive link?

AA: after the Demo is published - in the interim, changed to a mythical URL

B.  Is it Thelonious Monk rather than Thelonius Mank?  Pleae double check me.</js>

AA: Citylights refers to Thelonius Mank (don't if that is a mistake on their part or on purpose and part of their little jokes)

27.  [Your change to Yours Sincerely, John.]

AA: done

<js>I am not sure how these emails are visually formatted.  Should the name be on the next line?</js>

AA: depends on individual style I think (in an email I pesonally put it on the same line to save screen space - in writing I separate it)

28. In Sample Email 2:

Hello Citylights Director,

<js>Is this to the City Lights folks, again?  I think we're talking about a weather site, so we might want a different fake organization name?  I'm not familiar with how the demo (cited above) links into this, so please ignore if this doesn't make sense.</js>

AA: added the (mythical) URL for completeness

  29.  <h2>Response Time [@@ better heading]</h2>

<js>Suggest that it may be fine.</js>

AA: retained and note removed

30.  If so, congratulations[add ! del — change yto Y]our feedback was worthwhile.

AA: thanks

<h3>Correspondence</h3>

31. "Different organizations have different cultures and different systems for managing
correspondence and handling feedback and complaints. For example a government department
or large organization is likely to have an internal correspondence tracking system
which means it may take a while for the feedback to reach the right person and even
longer for action to be taken, while a small organization may be more responsive
and act immediately.
Many government organizations have a policy of responding to correspondence within
four weeks; this should be he maximum response time for any large organization."

*** Change to:

Each organization has a  different culture and system for managing correspondence and handling complaints. For example, a government department
or large organization is likely to have an internal correspondence tracking system
which means it may take time for the feedback to reach the right person and even
longer for action to be taken.  On the other hand, a small organization may be able to act immediately.

Government organizations typically have a policy of responding to correspondence within
four weeks; this should be the maximum response time for any large organization.

AA: very good - thanks

32.  <h3>Fixes [@@ better heading]</h3>

<js>Suggest Making Changes</js>

AA: I used "Improvements" after reading you suggestion

33.  "Sometimes, a quick solution is possible, such as addressing issues related to color
and contrast, other times it may require an organization to buy new web publishing
software before they can address some problems. In some organizations, the approval
process to implement changes may be a slow process.
Regardless, it reasonable to expect an organization to respond to your complaint
and reply with some resolution and a time frame to expect to see improvements.
However, many people's experience is that your complaint may be ignored at this stage.
Be persistent and try again; you might also consider taking
further action"

*** Change to:

Sometimes, a problem can be fixed quickly, such as addressing issues related to color and contrast.  But at other times, the solution may require an organization to buy new web publishing software. In some organizations, getting changes to a site approved may be a slow process.

Regardless, it is reasonable to expect an organization to respond to your complaint.  A reply should include a proposed resolution and a time frame when improvements are expected.

However, many people's experience is that their complaint is ignored.

If you are not receiving a satisfactory response, be persistent, and try again. Consider taking
further action

AA: thanks for the suggestions - mostly incorporated

<h2>Follow Up</h2>

34.  <js>New version of this section</js>

If the organization contacts you to request more information, that may be a step in the right
direction. Do you feel that your difficulty with the site should be clear from the information that you first
sent? Can you give them any more specifics? Sometimes a problem may be less apparent for someone using a different operating system, browser, and/or different custom settings,
as well as for someone who doesn't have access to the assistive technology you use.  Be patient since Web developers or other relevant staff may indeed need more information. Describe your situation and the problem 
as clearly as you can in order to help them understand what needs to be changed.

Maybe a phone conversation will help you describe the problem more easily than continuing to write. If the organization is not local to you, ask them to phone you.

Remember to keep documenting everything. Your "complaint diary" needs to include all contacts, emails or letters sent, and responses received, in case any further action
is necessary.

AA: very good - thanks

<h2>Further Action</h2>

35. <js>Repetition of "additional"</js>

AA: thanks

36. "Share this document [delete around] and get others involved in complaining - a response is
more likely if many people approach the organization"

AA: done

37.  "of getting a disability or older people[add 's] organization involved, combined with a legal"

AA: done

38."possibly through [add a] government disability or human rights commission, can be"

AA: done
Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 16:01:39 GMT

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