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Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria

From: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 16:09:34 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJeQ8SCbRrFpsEozq4iXafQixybYV4hEUYCGfm+X6ZnfmFjwvg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "EOWG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Note 1: 	"W3C cautions against requiring W3C's sufficient techniques.
The only thing that should be required is meeting the WCAG 2.0 success
criteria. To learn more, see ..." should be dropped from this
document.

Clearly, nobody who does purchasing for very large bureaucracies
reviewed this material.  This note presents the vendors side for this
issue.  It does not consider the issues of consumers.

First and most important is the fact that most vendors exaggerate the
accessibility of their products. In fact, many vendors lie outright.
This is no exaggeration.  I vetted product claims for many years.
Without naming anyone I can say that many highly respected vendors
lied to the CSU System about accessibility. If you have the job of
gate keeper you need information in writing from a respectable source
to battle the pressure of dishonest vendors.  Operationally, Note 1
means that the W3C Techniques are not reliable and any vendor's claim
must be taken seriously by individuals within a purchasing and civil
rights enforcement.

This is of course impossible.  When I proved the inaccessibility of on
product, over 100 million in mission critical web applications, it
took 160 hours for two skilled experts.  With this caveat from W3C,
the vendor could have claimed some new technique that we hadn't tested
and we would have to put in another 160 hours to disprove their claim.
When we were done with that the vendor, protecting a 100 million
dollar sale, could make another new technology claim and keep it up
until the accessibility gate keepers gave up.

That is the reality that real purchasing agents and civil rights
enforcers face.  Vendors who get 100 million from an organization
provide lots of favors to people in your organizational management and
those managers obstruct enforcement of accessibility. Note 1 would
assist this obstruction of civil rights enforcement.

W3C's retreat from the Techniques as the most modern benchmarks of
practical accessibility will simply make enforcement of accessibility
impractical.

Note 1 should be removed or revised with more inclusive consultation
with the entire accessibility community.  When WAI does reconsider
this they should have purchasing agents and people who enforce civil
rights participate.  I would suggest Cheryl Pruitt from the CSU System
and Debbie Kaplan from the Social Security Adminsitration.

Wayne
Received on Thursday, 8 August 2013 23:10:02 UTC

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