Re: Content Usable pronouns and Tal

Hello John,

Thank you again for your thoughtful response.

From what I'm reading, I think that there is a way to include Tal's persona
as intended, while addressing the concerns you raise.

Looking forward to finding the resolution with the group.



On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 11:35 AM John Foliot <> wrote:

> Hi Rain
> *Regarding tokenism:* if we *did* include this pronoun bit for all
> personas then a) I don't think it would not add that much more to the
> overall weight of the document, b) it further 'normalizes' that sentence in
> the context of this document (applied to all), c) which would lead me to be
> more open to considering Option 3 (cultural issues aside).
> *Regarding cultural sensitivity:* I totally get your point, and I too
> want to move the needle for all users with disabilities - I've fought hard
> for that for many years. I'm just concerned that by drawing attention to
> the gender issue here that it might dilute or diminish in some way the
> primary goal: focusing on the needs of users with cognitive issues (no
> matter what their sexual orientation or gender preference label might be).
> People can be 'funny'.... you can write 99 positive things, 1 negative
> thing, and a percentage of readers will all focus on the 1 negative thing,
> avoiding the 99 positives... I just want to ensure we don't fall victim to
> that, is all.
> *Regarding "inviting me to be an active part of this conversation": *Actually,
> thank YOU! The W3C is made better and stronger via the participation of
> multiple voices, especially new voices. Like any organization, things at
> the W3C can slide toward "groupthink" without new and fresh eyes and
> perspectives, so as an old dog who has been hanging out at the W3C for what
> seems like forever I for one appreciate your "jumping in with both feet"
> approach.
> JF
> On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 1:30 PM Rain Michaels <> wrote:
>> Hi John,
>> Thank you for the followup questions.
>> *Regarding tokenism:* this is an excellent point. I know the task force
>> has been working quite hard to keep the document as slim as possible (which
>> is not slim at all), but including this line at the end of each persona
>> introduction may be a reasonable request and feels like a good solution.
>> *Regarding cultural sensitivity: *while I appreciate your concern, I
>> have a few thoughts on this. The individuals coga is most actively trying
>> to include are the most historically unheard and left out. I feel that it
>> is worth including and acknowledging who these individuals are, and I feel
>> that the way this persona is written has a nice subtly that doesn't make it
>> feel like we are forcing cultural change. For those cultural spaces that
>> don't yet have mental space for diverse gender identities, my feeling is
>> that they are more likely to simply read this framing as "unusual" but not
>> put too much more thought into it.
>> I also want to add that I'm learning a lot from this conversation, and am
>> very aware that I am new to the group and don't have the same overall
>> background. Thank you for inviting me to be an active part of this
>> conversation.
>> Rain
>> On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 10:15 AM John Foliot <> wrote:
>>> Hi Rain,
>>> Thanks for this research!! It is quite interesting.
>>> As an additional "option" (consideration?), if we *DO* continue to
>>> include the statement that Tal prefers to be identified as they/them/their,
>>> what if we include this for *all* of the personas: make it a standard bit
>>> of information about all of the personas, not just the one. I think that
>>> would help a little in reducing my impression of 'tokenism' ("Look, we've
>>> got one of those too!" - yes, that comes off as insensitive, and I do not
>>> mean it that way - it's simply an observation that it could be
>>> interpreted that way).
>>> I also continue to be concerned about cultural sensitivity - not every
>>> culture is as accepting of gender diversity as our increasingly secular
>>> Western society, and I believe we need to be mindful of that as well.
>>> Thoughts?
>>> JF
>>> (Related: editorial note - the text currently reads "Tal like to be
>>> referred to (pronouns) as they/them/theirs" - should it not be "Tal like
>>> *s* to be referred to (pronouns) as Tal/they/them/theirs" - i.e.the
>>> addition of the "s" on "like")
>>> On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 12:26 PM Rain Michaels <> wrote:
>>>> Hello all,
>>>> I'm hoping that my comments below don't further complicate or confuse
>>>> this conversation, but after reading the conversation that followed, I
>>>> connected directly with a researcher who has done a lot of work around the
>>>> intersection of cognitive and gender diversity in order to better
>>>> understand how important it is that we include a non-binary persona.
>>>> This researcher confirmed the following:
>>>>    - Choosing to use one's name instead of a pronoun (as Rachael
>>>>    proposed in option 3) is an approach that will be recognized and
>>>>    appreciated by the community we are trying to include, as it is both a
>>>>    personal preference, and also a self-protective preference that offers more
>>>>    subtly.
>>>>    - There is a higher than average prevalence of individuals with
>>>>    cognitive difference also identifying as non-binary; these individuals are
>>>>    left out in so many ways that it would be a small and positive gesture for
>>>>    us to include them in the Tal persona.
>>>>    - A good resource to help think of the importance of this single
>>>>    move: Gender Dysphoria and People with Intellectual Disability
>>>>    <>
>>>> Additionally, given the link to the emerging style recommendation from
>>>> EOWG that Laura referenced
>>>> <>, and
>>>> given that we do have many personas, including Tal as a non-binary
>>>> individual who prefers to be referred to by name feels like an important
>>>> thing for us to do.
>>>> Rain
>>>> On Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 11:24 AM Laura Carlson <
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Rachael and all,
>>>>> I prefer option 1 and 3 combined.
>>>>> If specifying pronouns in our personas is going to help to promote
>>>>> diversity, equality, and inclusiveness, we should be doing it.
>>>>> It seems like the Education & Outreach Working Group (EOWG) may be
>>>>> working on persona pronouns for the WAI Style Guide:
>>>>> Perhaps Shawn may have some guidance for us?
>>>>> Thank you,
>>>>> Kind Regards,
>>>>> Laura
>>>>> On 3/23/21, Rachael Bradley Montgomery <
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> > Hello,
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Thank you for the thoughtful discussion at today's meeting about the
>>>>> plural
>>>>> > pronoun used in Tal. A resource you can read if this is a new area
>>>>> for you
>>>>> > is
>>>>> >
>>>>> > We discussed the following options:
>>>>> >
>>>>> >    1. no change
>>>>> >    2. add it in 1 or 2 places in the main persona
>>>>> >    3. Tal like to be referred to (pronouns) as Tal/they/them/theirs
>>>>> >    4. change the persona to remove gender diversity
>>>>> >    5. use the pronouns as frequently as would be used naturally
>>>>> >
>>>>> > COGA had voted against 5 because of readability and translatability
>>>>> > challenges and compromised with using the minimal pronouns in option
>>>>> 1.  I
>>>>> > have created a google document with all of the options at
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Please take a look and weigh in with your thoughts on how to proceed.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Best regards,
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Rachael
>>>>> > --
>>>>> > Rachael Montgomery, PhD
>>>>> > Director, Accessible Community
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > "I will paint this day with laughter;
>>>>> > I will frame this night in song."
>>>>> >  - Og Mandino
>>>>> >
>>>>> --
>>>>> Laura L. Carlson

Received on Friday, 26 March 2021 02:03:17 UTC