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RE: Personalisation examples (Was: Re: should we say "critical controls" or just "controls")

From: White, Jason J <jjwhite@ets.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2017 13:51:24 +0000
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
CC: Detlev Fischer <detlev.fischer@testkreis.de>, "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org" <public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BN6PR07MB34576EE0508D19F94A4091A3ABD30@BN6PR07MB3457.namprd07.prod.outlook.com>


From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2017 9:29 AM

I'm disappointed that more has not been done since 2008 WCAG 2 by the AT community, and cognitive advocacy groups. We are basically in the same technical place with technologies for people with Cognitive disabilities as we were 15 years ago.

WCAG generally formalizes requirements for accommodations that have emerged and are in use, it doesn't generally require authors to follow speculative accommodations.
[Jason] I concur with both of the above points. We do need better assistive technology support to aid cognition (especially, but not only for users with cognitive disabilities). Once the technologies and their supporting markup are sufficiently developed and have had their efficacy established across a variety of Web content, we can specify precise requirements for inclusion in WCAG.
I understand the sense of urgency and frustration sometimes expressed by those who are closest to this issue (including participants in the COGA Task Force). However, some processes of social and technological change do not have short cuts; and I would argue that trying to take a short cut by mandating unproven solutions in WCAG 2.1 is unlikely to deliver the desired outcome. It’s much more likely, in my view, to lead to formal objections and to the removal of the proposal from WCAG, or, at a minimum, its being narrowed to such an extent that it doesn’t really do much to help the people whose needs it’s meant to serve. In fact, we’re already seeing a manifestation of the latter problem in the current round of discussion.
I’m also concerned about the “invisible metadata” problem, as Charles McCathieNevile once called it. Metadata that are highly dependent on the specific content with which they’re associated need to be written correctly and updated as the content changes. Having dealt with improperly implemented ARIA markup, I think a complex, imprecisely defined metadata specification to support cognitive AT (and unfortunately the first public working draft of the COGA semantics satisfies this description) is unlikely to be properly applied on a large scale, even by well-intentioned authors. We need a very precisely defined metadata specification that authors have a chance of implementing correctly, coupled with technologies for using it that have been shown to be effective across a range of content types and for people with different cognitive needs.
Naturally, I’m strongly in support of this approach – but, so far as this discussion is concerned, it’s a “technology and efficacy first, WCAG second” solution, as I think it strategically has to be.


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Received on Friday, 30 June 2017 13:52:01 UTC

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