Re: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC proposals for WCAG 2.1

+1 to both Mike and Steve!

Best regards,

Mary Jo
                    Mary Jo                                                                    
                    IBM Research,                                                              
                    Austin, TX                                                                 
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From: Michael Pluke <>
To: Steve Lee <>, Jeanne Spellman
Cc: "Thaddeus ." <>,
            public-cognitive-a11y-tf <>,
            "Milliken, Neil" <>, "Smith, Jim"
            <>, "lisa.seeman" <>, "EA
            Draffan" <>
Date: 02/09/2017 06:23 AM
Subject: Re: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC proposals
            for  WCAG 2.1

Well said! I certainly second your praise for Lisa's tireless work to get
this done.

Best regards


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On Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 11:02 AM +0000, "Steve Lee" <
> wrote:

  Stepping back a bit, I don't think we should be too hard on ourselves
  here. Creating succinct, easily applied and testable SCs is a really
  tough job for Coga!!

  We, the task force, have put a lot of effort into collecting, researching
  and reviewing requirements and techniques for a massively varied group of
  users, Somehow, we need to boil that down to a set of SC with just one or
  2 lines of text that is designed to be applied generally and precisely.

  It strikes me that we are facing the problem of trying to write a
  "specification" for a "1 size fits 1" problem!

  WCAG has already see some of this with ALT attribs. While it is possible
  to state that ALT tags should be provided the exact requirements of users
  for ALT text for "eyecandy" images depends on the individual. And the
  spec doesn't cover what makes appropriate language for differing users
  and differing contexts etc. Thus we've see a lot of blog post discussing
  the precise usage of ALT attribs, often from a individual perspective.

  That's all part of the fun of a11y standards and Coga hits this problem
  full on and write large!

  I'd like to thank everyone for all their hard work and dedication on
  this. Lisa gets loads of brownie points from me for doing a great job of
  herding the requirements cats. Getting SCs into wcag is going to impact a
  lot of people in a very positive way.

  Rock on!

  Steve Lee

  On 9 February 2017 at 00:47, Jeanne Spellman <> wrote:
   Many of the formulas for ease of reading in English (e.g.
   Flesch-Kincaid) require samples of 100-150 words.  That won't work for
   labels and menus.   The Dale-Chall formula uses a list of 3000 common
   words which could address the labels and menus. We wouldn't be able to
   require that specific formula (since it needs to be applicable
   internationally) although we could reference it in a Technique.

   Here is a link to the Dale Chall word list.  While I didn't spend a lot
   of time looking at terms, I can confirm that it has "home", "about",
   "shopping", and "cart".  ;)

   I hope this helps.  If AGWG doesn't accept the Plain Language proposals,
   then I can work with Jim to either:

   * work out some of the flaws in the reading level proposals; or
   * figure out what parts of the existing list do match the WCAG SC
   requirements, and draft an SC with a more limited scope.

   Hopefully, AGWG will agree to the existing proposal.  I would love to be
   wrong.  :)

   On 2/8/2017 6:41 PM, Michael Pluke wrote:

         We certainly hope that instructions will be short! So I think that
         you have raised a very important point about whether there can be
         useful measurement of reading level on such short texts.


         From: Smith, Jim []
         Sent: 08 February 2017 22:04
         To: Michael Pluke <>; EA Draffan
         <>; Milliken, Neil <>;
         lisa.seeman <>
         Cc: Thaddeus . <>;
         public-cognitive-a11y-tf <>; Jeanne
         Spellman <>
         Subject: RE: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC
         proposals for WCAG 2.1

         Interesting stuff – given that error messages, control labels and
         critical instructions will tend to be short collections of words,
         will this not make any measure of readability statistically

         From the reference below I couldn’t find any discussion on the
         minimum length of material required for a reading test, but that
         may be buried in the references contained or taken as understood
         by anyone working in the field.


         From: Michael Pluke []
         Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 2:11 PM
         To: EA Draffan <>; Milliken, Neil <>; lisa.seeman <>
         Cc: Thaddeus . <>;
         public-cognitive-a11y-tf <>; Jeanne
         Spellman <>
         Subject: RE: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC
         proposals for WCAG 2.1

         Useful sources – thanks EA.

         From: EA Draffan []
         Sent: 07 February 2017 14:31
         To: Milliken, Neil <>; lisa.seeman <>
         Cc: Thaddeus . <>;
         public-cognitive-a11y-tf <>; Jeanne
         Spellman <>
         Subject: RE: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC
         proposals for WCAG 2.1

         I vote 3

         Holiday reading or references!

         Readability: The limitations of an approach through formulae (this
         paper has a definition of readability)

         Another very readable discussion about readability and the
         limitations of scales, but also measuring sentence length by
         number of words etc.

         old one

         Best wishes

         Mrs E.A. Draffan
         WAIS, ECS , University of Southampton
         Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103<>
         UK AAATE rep

         From: Milliken, Neil []
         Sent: 06 February 2017 23:13
         To: lisa.seeman
         Cc: Thaddeus .; public-cognitive-a11y-tf; Jeanne Spellman
         Subject: Re: Proposals for revision of the Plain Language SC
         proposals for WCAG 2.1

         I vote 3

         Kind regards,

         Neil Milliken
         Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion
         M: 07812325386<tel:07812325386>


         On 6 Feb 2017, at 22:35, lisa.seeman <<>> wrote:

         I am changing my vote to 3 as well.
         The SC as it is incredibly easy to write testing tools for. there
         are a few open source language processing tools that you can use
         to count cluses actureltys. Testing against a word list is also
         something that exists already in restricted language tools and is
         very easy to program. It cant be that we need to have a worse SC
         and use archaic reading level tools because WCAG are to set in
         their ways to accept any new technology.

         All the best

         Lisa Seeman

         LinkedIn<>, Twitter<>

         ---- On Mon, 06 Feb 2017 21:55:36 +0200 Thaddeus .<<>>
         wrote ----

         I vote 3

         On Feb 6, 2017 11:08 AM, "lisa.seeman" <<>> wrote:
         We had issues with reading level , for example the word "mode" is
         a lower reading level than "hot or cold" . the lower reading level
         is much harder to understand.
         The reason to go with Jeanne's proposal is because wcag _might_
         find it more testable. This would only be, in my opinion, because
         they have not bothered read the whole proposal and testability
         section (or they do not want new tools) Also i am not sure it is
         more testable in different languages and that is essential for
         WCAG. Wordlists requiremnts however, can work easily in any
         language and wordlists can be automatically generated by parsing a
         few sites.

         I agree that the "unless..." clause is only human testable but
         that it very typical for wcag.

         I want to suggest three options

         1 - we retract our current pull requests and put these in instead

         2 - we go with the current pull requests. If they fail and the
         comments are hard to address then we go with Jeanne's

         3 -we go with the current pull requests. we can revisit this if

         My vote is 3, to go with the current wording and see what happens

         All the best

         Lisa Seeman

         LinkedIn<>, Twitter<>

         ---- On Mon, 06 Feb 2017 20:00:24 +0200 Jeanne Spellman<<>> wrote ----

         A group of us at The Paciello Group (TPG) have been meeting every
         week in January to comment on the WCAG 2.1 proposals. Because we
         test WCAG 2.0 all day, every (business) day, we have a lot of
         experience with both the language of WCAG and the testing of WCAG.
         What we decided this week is that we want to focus our efforts
         toward helping COGA TF draft success criteria that will get into
         WCAG 2.1 and will accomplish most of what you want -- even if it
         is phrased differently.

         We started with the proposals that we thought would be the least
         controversial to the WCAG WG to include. I looked at the Plain
         Language proposals and did my best to look at the needs identified
         by COGA TF, and craft language that I thought would be acceptable
         to the WCAG WG and be included in the first draft version of WCAG

         The wording is quite different, but in my opinion, addresses the
         needs identified. I chose reading level, because it is
         internationally standardized, and there are automated tests
         already available. When I look at Technique G153: Making the text
         easier to read , it
         covers most of the items that the COGA TF identified.

         Issue 30 Proposal:

         Understandable Labels: Navigation elements and form labels do not
         require reading ability greater than primary education level. (A)
         [link to WCAG’s definition of primary education level from UNESCO

         Issue 41:

         Understandable Instructions: Headings, error messages and
         instructions for completing tasks do not require reading ability
         greater than lower secondary education level. (AA) [link to WCAG’s
         definition of lower secondary level from UNESCO standard]

         Delta 3.1.5 (rewrite of existing WCAG 3.1.5)

         Understandable Content: Blocks of text either: (AAA)

         · have a reading level no more advanced than lower secondary
         education, or

         · a version is provided that does not require reading ability more
         advanced than lower secondary education. [links to WCAG’s
         definitions of lower secondary education and blocks of text]

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Received on Friday, 10 February 2017 00:18:00 UTC