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Commentary from Australian Government

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:24:33 +0000
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <11A41946-4149-4901-BB18-3761BB6204FA@adobe.com>
I reached out to Andrew Arch for comments on the rapid release dilemma from the perspective of the Government of Australia.

I asked:
We are discussing the possibility of a regular update cycle for WCAG (every 2/3/? number of years) and there is also a concern voiced by some that this will destabilize how accessibility is handled in government policy efforts.

The opposing view is that any accessibility standard will begin to go out of date relative to new technology advances as soon as it is published, so it is beneficial to have a regular and relatively short update cycle so whenever a policy-making body is looking for an accessibility standard to adopt there will be one available that is current, and it will be clear when the next one will be released also.

What do you think?  I do hope to be able to share your response with the group, which is on a publicly-archived list.

Digital Transformation Office responded:

The general feeling here is that a 2-year cycle is too quick for government to respond - have you asked other governments their thoughts too? The discussion has been around why not add 'best practice' notes (and obviously techniques) progressively with a formal update every 3-4-5 years (but certainly with a longer refresh/version cycle than two years).

So, 'must do' (current version) and 'should do' (best practice that keeps evolving as technology changes) and 'options about how' (techniques). Occasionally 'best practices' get rolled into a new version of 'must do’

I responded:
To clarify, when you say it is too quick, do you mean that is too quick for implementation in your policies or that the existence of new updates that aren't integrated into policy would cause issues?

Digital Transformation Office responded:
Essentially it was felt that 2 years would be too soon between releases for each release to be incorporated into govt policies and into notes under our DDA in relation to web accessibility.

Thanks,
AWK

Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Standards and Accessibility
Adobe

akirkpat@adobe.com
http://twitter.com/awkawk

Received on Tuesday, 11 October 2016 14:26:33 UTC

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