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Re: CFC - Publish WCAG 3.0 as FPWD

From: Rachael Bradley Montgomery <rachael@accessiblecommunity.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2020 15:35:13 -0500
Message-ID: <CAL+jyYJTGcei3oLWrL=ueniDV-mLPo3NP8ueziOKofg5Mgdqng@mail.gmail.com>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Silver TF <public-silver@w3.org>
>
> I am recording that we received the following anonymous objection:
>
> There have been barriers to participation in the First Public Working
> Draft of WCAG 3.0 that made the concurrent contribution and review by
> people with disabilities difficult, particularly those in the Silver
> community group.  By not sufficiently including these individuals, there is
> a risk that the language and structure used could contribute to ongoing
> systemic and other harm. As drafts move through the writing process it
> becomes more difficult to challenge the premise of certain elements such as
> the existence of a conformance model. The incubation of 3.0, however, has
> not been sufficiently inclusive.
>
> It is not possible to turn back the clock on this and return to a previous
> draft, when the existence of these elements were not as clearly defined; a
> compromise solution of adding a Framing Letter at the front of the FPWD as
> well as a related status update would help people who may have these
> concerns to find potential risks and feel invited to challenge them.
>
> Such a Framing Letter, with an invitation for signatories rather than
> consensus, could be published adjacent to the FPWD and cited in a related
> status update and/or editor's note as well as in the announcement of
> publication. It would discuss:
>
>    - How there were barriers to participation in the creation of this
>    FPWD that made it less than inclusive
>    - The impact of these barriers on the standard as being questionably
>    deterministic
>    - The impact on the people who faced the barriers in terms of excluded
>    voices
>    - The risk that elements of this FPWD may create, entrench or amplify
>    systemic harms against people with disabilities as individuals and as
>    members of communities
>    - The need for barriers to participation to be fully addressed and
>    corrected going forward
>    - An invitation to use a critical lens to read this document and some
>    examples of where to focus and questions that could be asked to get at the
>    root of this concern.  For example: In this draft, we invite reviewers to
>    ask deeper questions like: Should we have a conformance model at all**?
>    What are the alternatives?  If we do have a conformance model, what should
>    it look like?  What risks do we need to consider when designing one and how
>    do we mitigate against them?
>
>
> Barriers to participation in the creation of this FPWD include, though may
> not be limited to: not fully accessible meetings, onboarding, summaries,
> recruitment, documents, and various practices of exclusion, ableism and
> systemic barriers to equitable participation in consensus.  In order to
> reduce these and other barriers to participation, all communication related
> to WCAG 3.0 going forward should be made fully accessible to encourage the
> contribution of people with disabilities, and any systemic barriers must be
> effectively addressed, with the goal of modeling best practices in
> accessibility.  As such, support to review and challenge the precepts,
> content and structure of 3.0 must be provided.
>
> ***Regarding the conformance model:*
>
> One significant issue is that conformance claims can be made by those
> using WCAG while not making content or structures sufficiently accessible
> and usable for people with disabilities.  A scoring system in particular is
> risky because biases can be buried in numbers, which are less transparent,
> and these biases can be automated and amplified.
>
> There are many risks and benefits to various accountability
> methods/schemes. Some are more or less strict with larger organizations or
> smaller ones, and some have more positive or negative impacts on some
> populations of people with disabilities than others.
>
> There are also tensions between conformance models and co-design practices.
>
> Systemic barriers exist for people with disabilities to feel empowered and
> emboldened to challenge the very structures that may oppress them
> individually or collectively.  Deterministic models can make it harder to
> challenge whether a particular mechanism is the right approach from the
> start.
>
Received on Monday, 2 November 2020 20:35:38 UTC

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