W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wai-ert@w3.org > April 2005

EARL supporting WCAG claims Re: ERT Action Item: Use Case Scenarios for EARL

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 23:06:07 +1000
To: shadi@w3.org, "'Paul Walsh'" <paulwalsh@segalamtest.com>, public-wai-ert@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.sorf0hdtw5l938@researchsft>

On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 03:51:50 +1000, Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org> wrote:

>> I thought the idea was to use EARL as a click through from a WAI logo
>> to demonstrate compliance of an accessible website.

Yep, that is the idea in this particular thread. (It isn't the idea of  
EARL in general, just one use case).

>> If this is the case, then it won't necessarily add much more value
>> to its current use, as it will not actually prove anything.
> True. The intent is not to *prove* accessibility but provide more
> credibility and granularity than the logos. Please also see:
> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-ert/2005Apr/0016.html>

Well, at the moment people put a logo onto a page an claim it conforms to  
WCAG at level double-A, and that's all the information they provide. There  
are some areas in which claims of conformance are open to interpretation  
anyway, and there are a lot more cases where people simply haven't done  
proper testing - for example they run something through a tool, ignore any  
kind of manual testing, and then claim that since the tool failed to find  
any violations the page conforms. (This is one approach to testing  
conformance, but not the one specified by WCAG, which requires that a set  
of tests are actually positively met).

So in practical terms the fact that a claim of double-A conformanceis  
expected to detail the results of a number of sub-tests which make up the  
overall level is likely to lead to more of these tests actually being  
done, and thus more accurate claims.

In addition, it is easy, using EARL, for a third-party organisation to  
make claims. On the one hand this allows for simple third-party testing,  
and on the other hand it makes it easier for third parties to demonstrate  
when a claim is false. Given that this is a battle of reputations, in that  
a person or orgaisation who makes demonstrably false claims is going to  
lose credibility very rapidly, this is likely to be a self-regulating  
processwhos overall result is a tendency to greater accuracy in claims by  
site developers, tool vendors, and third party assessors.



Charles McCathieNevile                      Fundacion Sidar
charles@sidar.org   +61 409 134 136    http://www.sidar.org
Received on Tuesday, 5 April 2005 13:06:15 UTC

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