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RE: Call for Review: Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web

From: <Anna.Zhuang@nokia.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:30:04 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D1E1C1C072023846AC4A55088BAA4B03309B3E17BB@NOK-EUMSG-04.mgdnok.nokia.com>

 Dear EOWG,

Since at the last call it was agreed to review the doc from accessibility point of view I will happily skip reading it alltogether. For the reason see point 3 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponderous.

Nevertheless, below please fing my comments that I've sent to eGov group as a result of my struggle with the Abstract and Introduction.

Best regards,
Anna Zhuang


* I don't think the language this document is using is the right one for a guideline produced by a standardization body.

* Abstract: "governments and their citizenry" sounds like Her Royal Highness the Queen and Her subjects. That is not the right terminology for a standard. Also this phrase ommits the fact that a government page may be accessed by a citizen of another country for various reasons like e.g. aspiring a new job in a new country. So there is no need for any distinction between so to say citizenries. I assume that some government pages must be universally accessible whereas some pages are accessible by providing e.g. social security number. 

* The end of the first sentence in the abstract is not clear on "departments and divisions". It probably refers to the earlier part of the sentence explaining parts of government bodies. So the whole sentence should be simplified to say that eGovernment should serve the purpose of communication with the people, communication between gifferent structures within a government and for communication between governments of different countries.

* I started reading and editing the Introduction but then gave up reading it alltogether. Again the language is wrong. Don't say "so called Web 2.0" or "wild wild web". This document is not a place to judge technologies or make jokes.

* The Introduction is too long and does not serve the purpose of introducing the document. It  is more of a prologue. The Introduction should be reduced to several paragraphs that concentrate on the scope of the document, what issues it tries to address rather than giving a history of WWW development.

* Background subsection of the Intruduction seems to explain the scope of work of the eGovernment working group. If this is important message to deliver as part of this guideline,  why not to isolate it as a separate section and may be change the title to "Scope of Egovernment WG work". However if deliverables of eGovernment group are well exposed in the document, this Background section should go alltogether. 

>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org 
>[mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of ext Shawn Henry
>Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:48 AM
>To: Sharron Rush
>Subject: Re: Call for Review: Improving Access to Government 
>through Better Use of the Web
>Thanks for the thoughts, William & Sharron. I think it would 
>be good to focus our discussion (and probably comments) in two areas:
>1. specifically how do we suggest that this document address 
>accessibility and people with disabilities and older users 2. 
>generally how to change the approach as you discuss below
>Looking forward to your further thoughts on this!
>Sharron Rush wrote:
>> William, you are right about the ponderousness (is that a word?) of 
>> this document, which seems to be precisely why we should review and 
>> recommend.  And you are right that "eGovernment cannot survive being 
>> just a remap of outmoded/ineffective versions"  Several 
>recent uses of 
>> the web for governance and related activities like elections have 
>> proven that point.
>> So perhaps one of the first recommendations is that this entire 
>> document and the thinking behind it needs to be accessible in the 
>> broadest sense.  Last year at the UDEM conference in 
>Monterrey, Mexico 
>> there was quite a bit of activity around "Citizen Language" and the 
>> need for governments to be mindful of it.  In that spirit, this 
>> document should lead from example.
>> If we accept that basic premise, how else can we help make this 
>> document do the work we would like for it to do?  The web 
>provides a pretty
>> unprecedented format to allow for government transparency.   I don't 
>> know enough about who participates on this working group, but the 
>> structure and the language seems opaque as it is now and counter to 
>> the goals they espouse.  Let's help them understand that, and let's 
>> help facilitate the multi-dimensional, citizen-led dialog 
>that serves 
>> people best.
>> WAI seems to me like a great place for that to occur, don't 
>you agree?
>> So, with William's astute comments in mind, I will try to 
>read through 
>> and make more specific comments in the next few days.
>> Onward, through the fog,
>> Sharron
>> William Loughborough wrote:
>>> As usual, I come late to this dance. As I read the fairly ponderous 
>>> Introduction I am struck by the near-total inattention to the 
>>> citizens' role in deference to the governments' roles. This is a 
>>> pervasive trend leading from the ideals of the Web towards yet 
>>> another top-down version of what we are about. One thing we must 
>>> provide to this undertaking is the Disability Rights 
>Movement's central mantra:
>>> "Nothing About Us Without Us" - and this goes well beyond 
>>> Accessibility for People With Disabilities - all the way to pure 
>>> Usability/Accessibility for People (full stop).
>>> I don't know what to do about this as it seems to be permeating so 
>>> much of our effort. So I will raise this flag but don't really know 
>>> what else to do.
>>> *Quit maintaining that there must be some central authority 
>in all of 
>>> these matters. eGovernment cannot survive being just a remap of 
>>> outmoded/ineffective versions of a bunch of fat/old/white 
>men running
>>> everything.*
>>> Love.
>>> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:43 AM, Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org 
>>> <mailto:shawn@w3.org>> wrote:
>>>     EOWG participants,
>>>     Please review "Improving Access to Government through Better Use
>>>     of the Web" at http://www.w3.org/TR/egov-improving/ from an
>>>     accessibility outreach and education perspective, that 
>is, how the
>>>     document addresses accessibility, people with disabilities, and
>>>     older users with accessibility needs.
Received on Monday, 30 March 2009 09:31:10 UTC

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