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Re: question on WCAG 2.0

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 2004 15:39:57 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Maurice Franceschi" <maurice.franceschi@civiccomputing.com>(by way of Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>), w3c-wai-gl@w3.org


Thank you for your comments and I appreciate that you are aiming for AA, 
and in some cases AAA, conformance to WCAG 1.0.

I believe you are referencing the current public working draft publishing 
in June 2003 [1].  In the latest internal working draft (published 17 
November 2003) [2],  the conformance scheme has changed considerably.  We 
no longer categorize checkpoints as Core and Extended. Instead, success 
criteria are categorized as level 1, level 2, or level 3.

The WCAG WG is *not* pandering to developers acting in bad faith. The goal 
of the WAI activity is to make the Web as accessible as possible and we 
push developers and designers to aim for the highest possible level of 
accessibility.  This is a consensus-based process and the developer 
community is integral to the discussion.  Many developers (who are acting 
in good faith) have said, "The more I can claim the more motivated I (or my 
manager) will be to do more. I'm working towards the next level of 
conformance.  Let me express what I have already done and what I am working 
towards."  However, as the editorial notes express, there are many issues 
with claiming gradients to a conformance scheme and it is not clear how we 
will resolve this issue.  Please refer to feedback we have received about 
this issue to gain a sense of the different perspectives [3,4].

If the WCAG WG does its job well, a minimum level of conformance to WCAG 
2.0 should cover the primary accessibility issues.  If the Authoring Tool 
Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (ATAG WG) [5] does its job well, 
more authoring tools will support accessible authoring practices and 
increase the ease of creating accessible Web pages so that developers are 
more likely to do more.

We will publish a new public working draft in the next few months and will 
solicit widespread review of that draft.  Each time we solicit review of a 
public draft we ask at least three review questions.  I expect at least one 
of the three questions on our next round of review will be related to 
conformance. Designing a conformance scheme that is acceptable to our 
diverse audience is one of the most difficult topics we have discussed 
while working on WCAG 2.0.


[1] <http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-WCAG20-20030624/>
[2] <http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/#conformance>
[3] <http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=396>
[4] <http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=552>
[5] <http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/>

At 11:04 AM 1/8/2004, Maurice Franceschi wrote:

>Dear Group,
>reading through the WCAG 2.0 draft I come across this quite early on.
>1.      Editorial Note: Feedback from WCAG 1.0 indicates that developers 
>often do not attempt to meet any Priority 2 Checkpoints because there is 
>no way to indicate in the conformance claim that they have "done more than 
>Level A but not enough to claim Level AA." "Core+" is a proposal that 
>allows developers to say, "I do more than Core but not all of the 
>Extended." However, the WCAG WG has several issues and questions about 
>Core+ conformance claims:
>The guidelines then goes on to discuss the potential problems with 
>applying Core+. However, these seem to be concerned with the issues that 
>may arise from the implementation of the Core+ idea.
>My main worry here is that WAI is pandering to developers who are acting 
>in bad faith. That is, because they cannot claim a certain level then they 
>will only do the minimum required to achieve the lower level. This is 
>putting themselves before the people theyre supposed to be helping.
>The attitude should always be to make a site accessible as possible the 
>fact that you cannot quite claim AAis perhaps hard luck on the 
>designers/developers but the extra Accessibility will be appreciated by 
>site visitors.
>Ive helped develop sites that have achieved AAAand even the UK RNIBs See 
>It Rightaccreditation and it is great to see the effort 
>officiallyrecognised and attributed and visible to the world: so I do 
>understand that. However, Ive also produced others sites that could not 
>fulfil all the requirements to attain a certain WCAG level e.g. one site 
>that was AAin practise but could not officially be claimed to be so 
>because some of the siteHTML was not conformant. This did not mean that it 
>would have been acceptable to not do as many of the AA guidelines as we 
>did; in the end I know we built a website that people will find accessible 
>and that is what matters, not having a AAlogo on the homepage.
>WCAG must not start accomodating helping people and companies who are just 
>ticking the boxes and not actually working to the spirit of the WAI 
>initiative .
>Maurice Franceschi

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
Received on Thursday, 8 January 2004 15:40:36 UTC

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