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LC-56, Accessibility and OpsGL

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 17:51:16 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa@w3.org

For email discussion, and for the agenda of the next OpsGL telecon...

Ref:  http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/lc-issues#x56
Ref:  http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/qawg-issues-html#102

The Issue
Originator:  "QA test suites should also include tests that test the 
accessibility features of a specification based on the accessibility 
requirements found in other W3C documents. This may require having a 
specific person in charge of defining and monitoring the inclusion of 
accessibility features."

Originator Proposal: "Include a requirement in the Operation Guidelines for 
a person to be responsible for accessibility tests of a specification"

The simple answer would be, "out of scope" for the QA Framework.  But the 
problem is a little more subtle than that.  First, the suggestion of 
"should include tests" suggests that the issue really pertains to TestGL, 
and "accessibility requirements found in QA documents" suggests that SpecGL 
gets involved.

The current scope of SpecGL is "...clarity, implementability, and 
testability of TRs. It describes what goes into a TR with respect to 
conformance and conformance topics, dealing with how a TR establishes, 
defines, and presents its conformance policy."

The scope of TestGL is "...the useability and clarity of the test 
materials. It covers the analysis and coverage of specifications, the 
prioritization and management of test cases, test frameworks and result 
reporting. [...]  The class of product or target this specification is 
conformance test materials including conformance test suites, validation 
tools, conformance checklists, and any other materials that are used to 
check or indicate conformance."

So ...

1.) if accessibility requirements are written into a specification as 
conformance requirements of the specification, there is no problem and no 
issue -- they are covered by TestGL and SpecGL just like any other 
conformance requirements.  I believe, also, that accessibility conformance 
and test issues fall under the responsibility of the Test Moderator 
(OpsGL), so that the suggested extra person is unnecessary.  Since the 
accessibility requirements are just a subset of the conformance 
requirements, then accessibility conformance and tests are automatically a 
part of the job description of the Test Moderator.

2.) if the accessibility requirements were, on the other hand, an 
informative guidelines appendix to a specification, then ... I think that 
they are beyond the scope of the QA Framework as currently construed.  In 
this case, the issue is larger than OpsGL (or TestGL or SpecGL).  QAWG 
issue #12 explored this -- the relationship amongst the QA, WAI, and I18N 
horizontals.  The conclusion was -- no defined policy, but ad-hoc issue 
tracking and liaison.  The issue Originator asked (among other things), 
"does QA try to represent Accessibility and I18N interests?"  The issue 
closure does not endorse such a relationship.

To the extent that accessibility requirements are conformance requirements 
of the specification, then they are adequately covered by the QA Framework 
guidelines family.  Tests of accessibility requirements are within the 
domain of the (OpsGL-required) Test Moderator's job, and therefore a 
special accessibility test coordinator is not needed.

Received on Tuesday, 29 April 2003 19:49:07 UTC

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