Your comments on WCAG 2.0 Last Call Draft of April 2006

Dear Andy Dingley ,

Thank you for your comments on the 2006 Last Call Working Draft of the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0 We appreciate the
interest that you have taken in these guidelines.

We apologize for the delay in getting back to you. We received many
constructive comments, and sometimes addressing one issue would cause
us to revise wording covered by an earlier issue. We therefore waited
until all comments had been addressed before responding to commenters.

This message contains the comments you submitted and the resolutions
to your comments. Each comment includes a link to the archived copy of
your original comment on, and may
also include links to the relevant changes in the updated WCAG 2.0
Public Working Draft at

PLEASE REVIEW the decisions  for the following comments and reply to
us by 7 June at to say whether you are
satisfied with the decision taken. Note that this list is publicly

We also welcome your comments on the rest of the updated WCAG 2.0
Public Working Draft by 29 June 2007. We have revised the guidelines
and the accompanying documents substantially. A detailed summary of
issues, revisions, and rationales for changes is at . Please see for more information about the current review.

Thank you,

Loretta Guarino Reid, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Gregg Vanderheiden, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, WCAG WG Staff Contact

On behalf of the WCAG Working Group

Comment 1:

(Issue ID: LC-735)

Part of Item:
Comment Type: GE
Comment (including rationale for proposed change):

Prompted, I admit, by
I\'m writing to express my disappointment with the WCAG 2.0 draft. The
content is uninspiring and I find the process to be little more than
railroading any public comment. Five years for the draft and a month to
comment? That\'s a rubber-stamp, not an opportunity.

As to the draft itself, then I find it almost worthless. It\'s as
worthless and irrelevant as WCAG 1 was.

I care deeply about web accessibility. As an \"accessibility geek\", I
also find myself in the frustrating position of knowing what to do, but
having repeated management pressure to do just the opposite.
Accessibility still isn\'t a real issue for commercial development and
it\'s leadership from the major bodies that\'s needed most, not developer
education. The information is already out there (Joe Clark, for
starters) and anyone who cares can easily be pointed towards it.

As this draft is though, it presents accessibility as an impossibility
complex matter that\'s about as dry as SGML parsing. There is no way I
can show this WCAG guideline to any sort of manager or commissioning
editor. It falls immediately into deathly dull technical issues couched
in impenetrable language and makes no real case to justify accessibility
as a worthy goal.  Even as a technical description for implementors it\'s
almost worthless.

These have always been the failings of the WCAG guidelines. The 1 -> 2
process though has been little more than an updating and tidying
exercise when the document itself required a ground-up re-write. Or more
usefully, throwing away and simply replacing wuith Joe Clark\'s
well-known boook that does a much better job of all of it!

I\'m disappointed that the W3C has lent its name to this document. As a
counter-example I\'m continually surprised by the quality of the HTML
Recommendation and the subtlety of some design choices I\'m only just
realising the value of, even after using the DTD for years. It\'s a
paragon of _why_ a standards process driven by experts is such a great
thing, when it works.  The WCAG guidelines though are everything that\'s
bad about the output of standards bodies. Obscure, over-complex,
partial, irrelevant, and basically inaccessible.

I would like to see this draft abandoned and the process re-started --
then a new draft developed, from scratch (or possibly lifted wholesale
from the canonical ref I\'ve already mentioned). This is a massive
change, but I see no possibility of turning the existing draft into
anything useful.

Proposed Change:

Response from Working Group:

We received a great deal of input on the Last Call draft and have made
a large number of changes, including a rewrite of much of the draft to
make it easier to understand.  We have also included a new Quick
Reference document, ,
that provides a tool for practitioners who just want the bottom line
on the requirements and the techniques for meeting them in different
technologies.  We also shortened the Guidelines document considerably.

Here are some of the things we have done.

Easier language to understand
-	Wrote simpler guidelines
-	Removed as many technical terms (jargon) as possible replacing them
with plainer language or, where possible, their definitions
-	Eliminated several new or unfamiliar terms.  (authored unit, etc.)
-	Removed the term Baseline and replaced it with   "web technologies
that are accessibility supported"  and then defined what it means to
be accessibility supported.
-	Removed the nesting of definitions where we could (i.e. definitions
that pointed to other definitions)
-	Tried to word things in manners that are more understandable to
different levels of Web expertise
-	Added short names/handles on each success criterion to make them
easier to find and compare etc.
-	Simplified the conformance

Shortening the document overall
-	Shortened the introduction
-	Moved much of the discussion out of the guidelines and put it in the
Understanding WCAG 2.0 document
-	Shortened the conformance section and moved it after the guidelines
-	Moved mapping from WCAG 1 to a separate support document (so it can
be updated more easily)

Creating a Quick Practitioner-oriented Summary / Checklist-like document
-	 Created a Quick Reference document that has just the Guidelines,
success criteria and the techniques for meeting the success criteria.

Received on Thursday, 17 May 2007 23:27:54 UTC