W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-eo@w3.org > July to September 2015

Fwd: Re: Usability, UCD, UX, or '"Usable Accessibility'" TF and Extension

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:59:17 +0200
Message-ID: <559810E5.6000909@w3.org>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
FYI, an interesting discussion in WCAG WG that may impact one of the 
planned EOWG resources.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: Usability, UCD, UX, or '"Usable Accessibility'" TF and 
Date: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:48:12 +0200

Hi Laura,

Just a minor clarification regarding the related EOWG resource inline:

On 4.7.2015 17:39, Laura Carlson wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> Background:
> Over the years a number [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] [7], [8], [9] of
> studies and articles have criticized WCAG for having an ambiguous
> relationship with usability, not having a framework that includes
> usability, or not having guidelines on usability best practices etc. I
> reviewed two of the studies [10] [11] for the WCAG Issues Sorted Page
> [12] and there does seem to be a usability theme.
> For instance the study, "Forcing Standardization or Accommodating
> Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World" [3],
> cites the WCAG 1.0 definition of accessible [13]:
> "Content is accessible when it may be used by someone with a disability."
> The study then argues that the test for whether a Web site is
> accessible is if people with disabilities can use it, not whether it
> conforms to guidelines. The study concludes that WAI should include
> usability within its remit and future versions of WCAG should include
> guidelines on best practices for usability.
> WCAG 2.0 does not define accessibility [14]. Regarding usability,
> Understanding WCAG 2.0 specifically states [15]:
> "There are many general usability guidelines that make content more
> usable by all people, including those with disabilities. However, in
> WCAG 2.0, we only include those guidelines that address problems
> particular to people with disabilities. This includes issues that
> block access or interfere with access to the Web more severely for
> people with disabilities."
> WAI's Education and Outreach Working Group has explored the
> relationship between accessibility and usability in a number of drafts
> and documents to encourage increased communication and coordination
> between the two areas as well as promoting the benefits of involving
> users with disabilities to identify usability issues that are not
> discovered by conformance evaluation alone. Some of those documents
> are:
> * [Draft] Web Accessibility and Usability  [16]
> * [Editors Draft] Web Accessibility and Usability Working Together [17]

These two are actually the same resource, just different drafts used 
during development. The latest version of both these is here:
  - http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/usable

We will look to improve the cross-references in these outdated drafts.

Meanwhile, we are looking to expand this resource to also explain the 
term "inclusion", which also tends to be discussed in this context:
  - http://w3c.github.io/wai-inclusion/

Note that this resource obviously does not attempt to override or to 
change the scope of WCAG in any way. The sole purpose is to explain some 
terms and how they interrelate, as they are sometimes confused. Here is 
our initial draft requirements analysis for this updating:

We would be delighted to learn more about how this resource could 
possibly address related concerns observed by WCAG WG and others.


> * Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility [18]
> * Involving Users in Evaluating Web Accessibility [19]
> As discussed in my review of Guidelines are only half of the story:
> accessibility problems encountered by blind users on the web [1] the
> definition of "accessible" has recently been expanded to include
> usability in United States Department of Education, Office for Civil
> Rights (OCR) resolution agreements.
> The OCR and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) share enforcement
> responsibility for academic and public accommodations under the
> Americans with Disabilities Act and its 2008 Amendments and Section
> 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These agencies have the authority to
> conduct a compliance audit or to initiate an investigation in response
> to a complaint, which can be filed by anyone. These agencies will
> often seek to enter into a resolution agreement with the subject
> institution in lieu of conducting an investigation and seeking
> sanctions or bringing a lawsuit. The OCR has begun to use the
> following definition and I quote:
> "'Accessible' means a person with a disability is afforded the
> opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same
> interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a
> disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with
> substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability
> must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and
> independently as a person without a disability. Although this might
> not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons
> without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the
> educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and
> equal treatment in the use of such technology. " (Sources: South
> Carolina Technical College System Resolution Agreement [20] University
> of Cincinnati Resolution Agreement [21], Youngstown State University
> Resolution Agreement [22]).
> It is significant to recognize that usability is an important aspect
> for people with disabilities. The topic of "Usable Accessibility" may
> help enhance WCAG 2. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
> explains [23] and I quote:
> "Usable accessibility combines usability and accessibility to develop
> positive user experiences for people with disabilities. User-centered
> design processes (UCD) include both techniques for including users
> throughout design and evaluation, and using guidelines for design and
> evaluation. UCD helps make informed decisions about accessible design.
> Thus UCD is necessary to improve accessibility in websites and web
> tools...The goal of web accessibility is to make the Web work well for
> people, specifically people with disabilities. While technical
> standards are an essential tool for meeting that goal, marking off a
> checklist is not the end goal. People with disabilities effectively
> interacting with and contributing to the Web is the end goal. To make
> the Web work well for people with disabilities, designers and
> developers need to understand the basics of how people with
> disabilities use the Web. Following UCD to involve people with
> disabilities throughout design processes and involve users in web
> accessibility evaluation helps design solutions that are effective for
> users and for developers."
> Discussion:
> WCAG's relationship to usability may merit Working Group discussion if
> it has not already been discussed. We may want to contemplate the
> question of if a tighter integration of usability and accessibility is
> in or out of scope for a WCAG Task Force. If it is in scope, would a
> "Usable Accessibility" or UCD extension or other documentation be in
> order?
> Perhaps some usability folks may be interested in an extension, maybe
> the authors the studies? [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6 [7], [8], [9]. At
> this point, I've asked two, who have said they would be happy to work
> on usability documentation and to contribute discussion time
> permitting.
> So...what do you think? Your thoughts and comments on this topic would
> be most welcome and appreciated.
> Kindest Regards,
> Laura
> References:
> [1] Guidelines are only half of the story: accessibility problems
> encountered by blind users on the web - Christopher Power, Andre
> Freire, Helen Petrie, David Swallow
> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2207736
> [2] Contextual web accessibility - maximizing the benefit of
> accessibility guidelines - Brian Kelly, David Sloan, Lawrie Phipps,
> Helen Petrie, Fraser Hamilton
> http://ukwebfocus.com/papers/forcing-standardization-or-accommodating-diversity-a-framework-for-applying-the-wcag-in-the-real-world/
> [3] Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework
> for Applying the WCAG in the Real World - David Sloan, Andy Heath,
> Fraser Hamilton, Brian Kelly, Helen Petri, Lawrie Phipps
> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1133242
> [4] A challenge to web accessibility metrics and guidelines: putting
> people and processes first - Martyn Cooper, David Sloan, Brian Kelly,
> Sarah Lewthwaite
> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2207016.2207028
> [5] Complementing standards by demonstrating commitment and progress -
> Sarah Horton, David Sloan, Henny Swan
> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2745555.2746654
> [6] The future of WCAG – maximising its strengths not its weaknesses -
> Jonathan Hassell, "it's debatable whether many of the missing success
> criteria to address those missing problems are accessibility or
> usability issues."
> http://www.hassellinclusion.com/2013/01/wcag-future/
> [7] Holistic Approaches to E-Learning Accessibility - Lawrie Phipps
> and Brian Kelly
> http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ817923.pdf
> [8] "...absurd distinctions that are sometimes made about the
> usability and accessibility of web content" - Roger Hudson
> http://usability.com.au/2013/01/headings-who-needs-em/
> [9] "...Particular difficulty with issues that blur the boundary
> between usability and accessibility" - Roger Hudson
> http://www.dingoaccess.com/accessibility/measuring-accessibility/
> [10] Laura's review of "Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity?"
> http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/wcagwg/reviews/standardisation_or_diversity.html
> [11] Laura's review of "Guidelines are only half of the story"
> http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/wcagwg/reviews/guidelines_only_half_the_story.html
> [12] Post WCAG 2 Issues Sorted
> https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/Post_WCAG_2_Issues_Sorted
> [13] WCAG 1.0 definition of accessible
> http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/#glossary
> [14] WCAG 2.0 Glossary
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#glossary
> [15] WCAG 2.0 on Usability
> http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/intro.html#introduction-fourprincs-head
> [16] [Draft] Web Accessibility and Usability
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/access-use/accessibility-n-usability-2010-10Oct-31.html
> [17] [Editors Draft] Web Accessibility and Usability Working Together
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/access-use/accessibility-n-usability.html
> [18] Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/involving
> [19] Involving Users in Evaluating Web Accessibility
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/users.html
> [20] South Carolina Technical College System Resolution Agreement (PDF)
> https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/investigations/11116002-b.pdf
> [21] University of Cincinnati Resolution Agreement (PDF)
> http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/university-cincinnati-agreement.pdf
> [22] Youngstown State University Resolution Agreement (PDF)
> http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/youngstown-state-university-agreement.pdf
> --
> Laura Carlson

Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)
Received on Saturday, 4 July 2015 16:59:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:29:51 UTC