Re: AW: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force - DRAFT

I agree with David

Katie Haritos-Shea

* katie *

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note® II 

-------- Original message --------
From: David MacDonald <> 
Date: 09/14/2013  12:39 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: Kerstin Probiesch <> 
Cc: Andrew Kirkpatrick <>,WCAG <> 
Subject: Re: AW: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force - DRAFT 
I agree that it may be difficult to test cognitive techniques but I don't think that should stop us from trying to help people with cognitive and learning disabilities who use the web...

At our local university and college there is a 9:1 ratio between cognitive/learning and all other disabilities combined.

We may find a way to test many techniques ... We may also find an elegant way to include untestable techniques... In a way to promote good practices...

I think Kerstin brings up important points that we need to explore... But I think Wcag is the right place for this..

Sent from my iPhone

On 2013-09-14, at 3:59 AM, Kerstin Probiesch <> wrote:

Hi Andrew, all,

I think we all can easily agree that we all don't know enough about
accessibility for people with cognitive and learning disabilities and that
we welcome improvements especially in this part of our work. I've read the
draft a few times and like a lot of the ideas and goals written in and I
also have some reservations.

Of course accessibility for people with cognitive and learning disabilities
is not only about language, but it is of course also a question of (a)
specific language. One example for this we can read in G153: "Use sentences
that are no longer than the typical accepted length for secondary education.
(Note: In English that is 25 words.)". The note shows one problem when it
comes to techniques in this area of accessibility: "In English". It is of
course not possible for a Working Group or a Task Force to take in account
every language on this planet. But I fear that (of course not all)
techniques might only be of value for the English language and also that
speakers of other language might ignore this. We all know that it is hard
work to explain even the role of techniques as optional...which leads me to
the second point of the draft: 

"but we are also expecting to produce techniques that are non-testable".

Criteria for WCAG-Techniques is that they are testable. If a Cognitive and
Learning Disabilities Task Force as WCAG WG Task Force will produce a paper
which includes non-testable techniques I think it will soften this important
aspect of techniques. I also think about WCAG-Surveys. During the working
process of a Task Force we will fill out surveys like "Technique XY: Do you
agree, agree with the following changes..." and so on. I don't see how to
fill out those surveys, when it comes to non-testable techniques ("I like
it"? "I believe it's a good technique"?.

Therefore a Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force under the cover
of WCAG WG gives me some headache. My proposal for the second point is, that
techniques given by a Task Force like this should be testable.    

For the first point I don't have a proposal, but would like to hear from the
Proposed Co-Facilitators how they expect to handle the problem of culture
and language specific aspects and techniques in this area of accessibility.



Von: Andrew Kirkpatrick [] 
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 11. September 2013 16:13
An: WCAG (
Betreff: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force - DRAFT

WCAG’ers – 
The Protocols and Formats WG is proposing a new task force on cognitive and
learning disabilities and we’ve been asked if we agree that it is a good
idea and whether we would like it to be a joint TF with WCAG.  The draft TF
work statement is here:

We are interested in the opinion of the group on this matter.  The chairs
feel that this work is valuable and timely in that we do need to continue to
evaluate possible improvements in WCAG or in techniques to better support
users with cognitive or learning disabilities, and this task force can help
by focusing directly on that topic.  We expect that we will need to recruit
additional members in order to have enough participation for the TF, but
believe that is achievable.  This task force will operate in a substantially
independent manner from WCAG and PF, but may contribute techniques that the
main WG needs to review and the main WG will also need to approve the
release of any publications produced by the group.

Please take a look at the work statement and share your thoughts.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems

Received on Saturday, 14 September 2013 20:40:50 UTC