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RE: Simplified Roadmap Intro (Action-263)

From: EA Draffan <ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:04:13 +0000
To: John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>
CC: "Rochford, John" <john.rochford@umassmed.edu>, lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>, "public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org" <public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7181A95B72F5B04C94BEF10CEC91E7969DB2E023@SRV00047.soton.ac.uk>
I missed that sentence John and perhaps we can soften it by saying - many website developers have not received support to create accessible websites and services.

Best wishes
E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
WAIS, ECS , University of Southampton
Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103
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From: John Foliot [mailto:john.foliot@deque.com]
Sent: 16 February 2018 17:30
To: EA Draffan <ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Cc: Rochford, John <john.rochford@umassmed.edu>; lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>; public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org
Subject: Re: Simplified Roadmap Intro (Action-263)

John wrote:

> many Website builders don’t want to help people;

I think this is both unfair, and inaccurate - it's not that they don't want to help people, it's that they don't understand all of the issues or requirements for all user-groups: they are limited by lack of understanding or imagination, but rarely by a negative stance (i.e. "we don't care").

Approaching the problem statement from that perspective is, IMHO far from productive, as it starts out combative, and sets up an "us versus them" dynamic that is hardly helpful. We need to partner with these folks, not blame them for gaps in their understanding. As I've said many times over the years: Be the Fireman, and not the Cop (https://www.slideshare.net/johnfoliot/fireman-cop).

Having done corporate training around the topic of web accessibility for over 18 years, I can perhaps think of 3 or 4 developers over all that time who were real "jerks" - instead I have great recollections seeing the light-bulbs go on in the heads of designers and developers when you spend the time to help them understand.

Words matter.

JF

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 5:56 AM, EA Draffan <ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk<mailto:ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk>> wrote:
I really liked what you wrote John and I am going to add to the research list today if I can find a moment in the work schedule.

Many thanks for making your paragraphs such an easy read!
Best wishes
E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
WAIS, ECS , University of Southampton
Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103<tel:+44%207976%20289103>
http://access.ecs.soton.ac.uk<https://www.outlook.soton.ac.uk/owa/redir.aspx?C=69b1RzNTDwem3wbm4pLRmuYfTLt16YjcghtEpZBsF5Sebx78I2DUCA..&URL=http%3a%2f%2faccess.ecs.soton.ac.uk%2f>
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From: Rochford, John [mailto:john.rochford@umassmed.edu<mailto:john.rochford@umassmed.edu>]
Sent: 15 February 2018 13:29
To: 'lisa.seeman' <lisa.seeman@zoho.com<mailto:lisa.seeman@zoho.com>>; public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org<mailto:public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Subject: Simplified Roadmap Intro (Action-263)

Hi Lisa and All,

I was tasked with writing a simplified version of the intro to our Roadmap and Gap Analysis<https://w3c.github.io/coga/gap-analysis/#introduction>. My first draft is immediately below. It is followed by the text of the intro section. I welcome everyone’s feedback.

Our task force is making the Web easier to use by people who have trouble thinking. This is hard because:

  *   there is not a lot of info about how people use the Web;
  *   many people have many needs;
  *   almost no testing has been done;
  *   people don’t want to talk about having trouble;
  *   many Website builders don’t want to help people; and
  *   text, pictures, and video must be made easy too.

1. Introduction
This section is non-normative.
The Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force's aim is to improve web accessibility for people with cognitive and learning disabilities. This is being done as part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Accessible Platform Architecture Working Group (APA WG), part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C. Challenges facing this work include:

  *   Lack of availability of open research: Research on this topic tends to be behind a “paywall” which means that developers and policy makers may be unable to find out what techniques are proven to work to address the needs of people with disabilities
  *   There is a wide range of cognitive disabilities; each type of impairment is different, with diverse symptoms and particular digital accessibility requirements. This adds to the complexity of knowing how to address user needs.
  *   The advice given in the research and available guidance is often vague and is not testable. So, even if developers read the research they would not know exactly what to do or when they have reached an acceptable level of accessibility.
  *   Another major challenge is capturing difficulties related to cognitive disabilities that may be undeclared. People with cognitive disabilities may be embarrassed about their disabilities and may be less likely to request accommodations. They may be afraid of discrimination, especially in the work place. Others are not aware of their disability or of the impact it has on their functioning.
  *   Attitudes and misinformation can also become a barrier to inclusion for people with cognitive disabilities. For example, developers that may feel people with cognitive disabilities are not in their "target audience" and so have no interest in their inclusion. Also, studies of usability often over-sample college students. This can mean that the results work less well for those inadequately represented among sub-groups of college students (such the aging population).
  *   Attitudes and misinformation can also become a barrier to inclusion for people with cognitive disabilities. For example, developers that may feel people with cognitive disabilities are not in their “target audience” and so have no interest in their inclusion. Also, studies of usability often over-sample college students. Thus the results work less well for groups who are not well represented among sub-groups of college students (such the aging population).
  *   Accessibility has typically been based upon the assumption that any website can be designed to be usable by people with disabilities. However, when making a website usable for people with cognitive disabilities, the content itself may need to be changed (e.g. simplified), or support adaptability (e.g. multi-modal delivery).


John

John Rochford<http://bit.ly/profile-rj>
UMass Medical School/E.K. Shriver Center
Director, INDEX Program
Instructor, Family Medicine & Community Health
www.DisabilityInfo.org<http://www.DisabilityInfo.org>
Twitter: @ClearHelper<https://twitter.com/clearhelper>

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--
John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Deque Systems Inc.
john.foliot@deque.com<mailto:john.foliot@deque.com>

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion
Received on Friday, 16 February 2018 20:04:52 UTC

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