Re: Please extend the comment period for WCAG2

Dear Michael,

Thanks for your interest in & support for Web accessibility.

I'm unclear from your email below whether you are aware that there has 
already been an extension period for the WCAG 2.0 Last Call Working Draft. 
The Last Call Working Draft review was announced on 27 April, with a 
comment deadline of 31 May. This was extended till 22 June, and so this 
makes for an eight-week review period.

The extension email also contained a few clarifications about the review, 
for instance that the deadline only applies to the relatively short, 
normative part of the guidelines, not to all the supporting material; and 
also that a Last Call Working Draft is not the final stage before the 
document is completed, but that comments based on trial implementations can 
also be made during the next stage, Candidate Recommendation, where we 
gather implementation experience.

We're unlikely to extend this Last Call Working Draft review period again 
right now, so if you have any comments that you can send by 22 June, please 
send what you are able to by then. The comments are indeed very valuable to 
us; for instance, your concerns about use of terminology below would be 
helpful to submit. (Inter-rater reliability, by the way, is where different 
people can come up with a consistent result when evaluating something -- 
something which I think is valuable for disability communities, which have 
an interest in reliable accessibility, as well as for government 
organizations that monitor accessibility, and for developers who want their 
work to be evaluated in a fair & consistent manner. But if that term isn't 
clear where it's used, then we need to explain it and/or use different 

You may also find the following resource helpful in commenting on WCAG 2.0, 
as it shows a shorter view of the guidelines, a view that may be helpful 
for Web developers:

I encourage you to focus your comments on the guidelines themselves, rather 
than on assumptions about the process. I'm sorry that I can't agree with 
your comments below about the Working Group -- we've continued to have a 
diverse base of support/sponsorship; of participation in the Working Group; 
and of comments received from different stakeholder groups during the 
development of WCAG 2.0, as with WCAG 1.0.

You asked below about the objectives we set out to achieve for WCAG 2.0 -- 
please see the requirements document for WCAG 2.0, available at:
An earlier version of that is available from the "previous version" link. 
Please note, in the status section of the requirements document, that there 
is an invitation to provide comment on that as well.

Please let me know if you have further questions.


- Judy

At 06:28 PM 6/19/2006 +1000, Michael Virant wrote:
>I have championed accessible web design for over 8 years but am very
>concerned about the brevity of the comment period on the final WCAG2
>working draft.  I admit this email should have been sent earlier.
>In short I find WCAG2 simply inaccessible!!  The industry patois has
>totally obfuscated  simple guidelines into meaningless drivel: for
>example, "inter-rater reliability" means...??
>How the wagon fell off the wheel after WCAG1 is no mystery (your
>funding VS corporate/member interests) but what a lost opportunity to
>help those with disabilities - some would say a betrayal of those you
>are entrusted to help.
>Couple this with what the Victorian State Government (Australia) has
>done in paring (dumbing) down their Whole of Government Guidelines
>(November 2005) and "testing", for me and my clients, will become
>impossibly complex at best or utterly futile at worst.  Was this your
>intention or just a poor outcome?  Where can I read the success
>criteria or objectives you set out to achieve for WCAG2 (eg correcting
>errors, filling gaps of knowledge, incorporating emerging
>technologies, meeting disabled user's suggestions, reducing testing
>time, improving take up and implementation).
>Please advise what the trigger point will be for you to extend the
>comment period as I am sure I am not alone in this state of vexation.
>In your own words:
>...comment periods "may last longer if the technical report is complex
>or has significant external dependencies"
>I rely on clear, articulate accessibility guidelines to make a living
>so I am very much dependent on your activities.
>Michael Virant

Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G530
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA

Received on Tuesday, 20 June 2006 04:29:44 UTC