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RE: Silver process

From: White, Jason J <jjwhite@ets.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:14:51 +0000
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BY2PR0701MB1990E78200D065D2ACBEA3ACABAB0@BY2PR0701MB1990.namprd07.prod.outlook.com>
I have a few issues to raise with the CFC.

One of the underlying intentions of Silver, as I understand it, is to supersede not only WCAG 2.x, but also ATAG and UAAG. Yet, there is no mention in the proposed design process of engaging users (or potential users) of ATAG and UAAG, or of requirements derived from them.

Increasingly, Web technology standardization ceases at the API level (e.g., for authentication or Web payments), leaving the user interface to be defined elsewhere – possibly by the user agent in some instances. Equally, there is a growing variety of Web applications (social media applications, content management systems, etc.) that serve the function of authoring tools. Under these circumstances, it makes good sense to cover all of the requirements in a single specification, but there is a need to decide upon the scope and to determine which requirements should be included.

The proposed Silver design process is entirely WCAG-focused. There is room to include other interested parties, but I would rather see the issues arising from ATAG and UAAG explicitly taken into account.

Another lacuna in the current suite of W3C specifications which should be investigated as part of Silver is the lack of an accessibility Guidelines specification to which libraries used by developers to build applications can conform. Currently, they can say that they conform to ARIA, but that’s only one component of accessibility, and they could even implement ARIA without implementing proper keyboard accessibility, for example. The ARIA Authoring Practices Guide is not a specification. Further, there is more to accessibility than compatibility with assistive technologies that use accessibility APIs. Having Guidelines to which libraries, components or frameworks could conform would facilitate the task of developers who use these materials to write applications. I think this issue should be on the Silver agenda.

In summary, I think there’s a fundamental scope discussion that needs to take place in the Silver design process, and correspondingly a range of people to be consulted beyond the users of WCAG, but this isn’t reflected in the Silver process proposal, as currently written, which gives the impression (intentional or otherwise) of a focus entirely on WCAG and its stakeholders. I would like to see these issues addressed (or at least considered) before the working group adopts the proposal.

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 4:44 PM

The decision is that the process defined at https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/Process_of_Designing_Silver is agreed to by the working group as the way forward with a longer effort to research, develop requirements, and begin to produce a major update to WCAG. Please review the minutes of the call and the survey responses as you consider this CfC.
[Jason]

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Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 18:15:21 UTC

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