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RE: Supplementary document for WCAG 2.1

From: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 11:29:16 +0000
To: Gregg C Vanderheiden <greggvan@umd.edu>
CC: public-cognitive-a11y-tf <public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1C37E07A-F97B-4282-9822-DE3966D41ED3@nomensa.com>
Gregg wrote:
> if there are supplemental docs — I think that each should focus on ONE aspect -  and not be written anything like WCAG  (or else it will be very confusing and not very useful or used) 
> the supplement should NOT be   WCAG without testability.   Because there is no use for that.

I disagree with that assumption, but perhaps we are talking along different lines. Let’s start with some agreements and see where we diverge:

1. Given how difficult it is to create testable criteria for things we know improve the experience for people with cognitive issues, do we agree that *something* beyond WCAG 2.1 is needed? 

Lisa has been clear that she believes putting things at AAA means they might as well not be there. I somewhat disagree, but see where that comes from and it removes a possible approach.

2. If we agree we need something, does that something need to be before Silver? I think most people would agree it does.

3. If we need something in the WCAG 2.1 timeframe, what form does it take?

In my mind the motivation / aim is to create something for organisations which have a public service mandate (e.g. Governments, medium-large corporates etc.) so they can do more to make things accessible for more people. 

These are organisations where “reasonable effort” could include usability testing, following a UCD process, and getting external WCAG compliance testing etc. Compared to small and/or niche organisations where such effort would be unreasonable (but they should still be able meet WCAG 2.1 by improving their content in accordance with the 2.1 SCs).

In the extended guidance we could include things which use terms like “When appropriate…”, e.g:

For example, something I include in training but isn’t covered by WCAG is making it apparent that you’ve performed an action when the reaction is spatially separated (e.g. you click “add to basket”, and the only thing that changes is a number in the top-right of the screen).

I hadn’t even considered putting that forward as an SC, partly because of testability concerns, and partly because it usually gets caught in (general) usability testing anyway.

However, with looser language it would be quite feasible to include that aspect, and things like Plain language (avoid jargon, double-negatives etc.) without having to worry about word lists.

I think it should avoid ‘conformance’ language, but it makes sense to use a structure that mirrors POUR, has guidelines, and the next level down would be something like heuristics instead of SCs.

If that is framed as something for organisations to follow when they have sufficient resource and a mandate to do so (e.g. for Government institutions), then it could be very useful.

Kind regards,


Received on Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:29:52 UTC

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