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Formal objection explained

From: Lisa Seeman <lisa@ubaccess.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 12:04:32 +0200
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <10c201c69450$f0be5da0$6400a8c0@IBM4CD7E5EACA1>
Hi Folks

A formal  objection has been posted against WCAG 2.0's claim that it defines and addresses the requirements for making Web content accessible to those with learning difficulties and cognitive limitations. This is a personal email explaining that objection. 

The objection is now archived at  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2006Jun/0118.html.   It is a  formal objection from the working group members and a comment from the other signatures (This is because only WCAG working group members can officially make a formal objection) The objection has been signed by a mix of working group members and domain experts.

Also, a formal objection is meant to be a minority opinion within the group. I strongly doubt that this is the case here. Based on the discussions on this issue on the WCAG list itself I would be surprised if more then a handful of working group participants think that WCAG 2.0  address all  the requirements for  accessibility for people with learning disabilities and cognitive limitations. 

The aim of the objection is that: 
a, The working group understands that  WCAG 2.0 does not provide all the requirements for access for cognitive limitations, and 

b, to encourage continued work on an extension guideline that will address these needs. 

I want to emphasize that  the intent is to build a better accessibility standard for people with disabilities. But you cannot solve a problem if you claim to have already solved it.

I also want to offer again to set up a sub group to work on an extension guideline or  success criteria that does the job.   Personally I believe what is needed is a concentrated and planned effort, that should include:
  a.. An evaluation of different learning disabilities and cognitive limitations
  b.. An analysis of the difficulties of the different groups when accessing web content 
  c.. A gap analysis between current techniques and required support
  d..  Innovation and proposal stage 
  e.. User testing of proposed techniques 
For thoughs intersted in that type of effort I refer you to www.ld-web.org, http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/mag35.html or http://www.conceptcoding.org/

Thanks to all of you for your support. It is great to be working with people who share the common goal of helping creating a better web for people with ALL types of disabilities. 

Special thanks to Jonathan Chetwynd  for his colossal effort in gathering the tribes together. Also thanks to Andy Heath and Gez Lemon.

All the best
Lisa Seeman www.ubaccess.com
Received on Tuesday, 20 June 2006 09:05:57 UTC

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