Re: Possible addition to the Numbering and Updating debate?

I have a fair number of clients asking for Single A. I propose AA to them
but in the end it is their money and Level A is what they want to pay for,
not AA. The law requires A here in Ontario until 2021. If we force all the
SC that were AA in WCAG 2 into A for 2.1, there will be reluctance to
upgrade the law to require 2.1. This is another aspect of backward
compatibility which requires consideration.

I would not advise changing the level of SCs for 2.1 except for those
proposed by task forces for specific accessibility purposes. There was much
more thought that went into the choice of levels in WCAG 2 than may be

David MacDonald

*Can**Adapt* *Solutions Inc.*

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On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 4:49 PM, Michael Gower <>

> Thanks for the reaction, John.
> Given 2.0 is effectively two levels: do it (A and AA) and ignore it (AAA),
> taking all of the 'do it' criteria and putting them into a single level in
> 2.1 would seem to me to give greater flexibility going forward while fully
> maintaining backward compatibility.
> Speaking of backward compatibility, altering the numbering or requirements
> of the 38 currently required SC is going to pose a more confusing
> experience than what I'm proposing, yet I have heard that proposed by a
> number of individuals.
> " I suspect it defeats the purpose of the current A, AA, AAA ranking
> system, which was arrived at for each SC through a composite of criticality
> and feasibility to deliver."
> I get the historical reasoning behind 3 layers of categorization in 2.0,
> but it seems rather academic, given how it has been adopted and the
> experiences of the last decade. How many people would argue that level A's
> like Sensory Characteristics and Language of Page are as critical to
> accessibility as AA's like Focus Visible or Headings and Labels? Who would
> argue that the placing of 1.2.3 Audio Description etc. as a level A
> criterion has hastened its adoption?
> Maintaining the status quo risks putting us in a situation where someone
> may take the complexity of 2.1's new interspersed A's and AA's, and simply
> reject *all *the AAs, even the ones that already existed or start doing
> some kind of piecemeal approach (all of the old A's and AA's plus the new
> A's). I suspect such a fear contributes to why many of the proposed new SCs
> are positioned as level A, even where their less complex forebears were AA
> or AAA.
> What I'm proposing provides an adoption path for folks without having to
> undertake a lot of additional research or investigation.
> Michael Gower
> IBM Accessibility
> From:        John Foliot <>
> To:        Michael Gower/CanWest/IBM@IBMCA
> Cc:        WCAG <>
> Date:        2017-01-09 12:42 PM
> Subject:        Re: Possible addition to the Numbering and Updating
> debate?
> ------------------------------
> Hi Michael,
> Interesting idea, but I suspect it defeats the purpose of the current A,
> AA, AAA ranking system, which was arrived at for each SC through a
> composite of criticality and feasibility to deliver.
> Given that, as noted, most entities today demand A & AA conformance (while
> almost completely ignoring AAA Success Criteria) I think it is worth
> questioning the use of A, AA, AAA in the Project Silver effort, but since
> WCAG 2.1 needs to be 100% backward compatible, I fear this idea may
> introduce more confusion than help.
> FWIW, I personally would like to see all new SC under any given Principle
> (or secondarily, Guideline) continue from the existing numbers. One example
> (which has made the rounds on this list) is color contrast for actionable
> icons, versus just text or images of text. I single this one out because it
> is an augmentation of an existing SC, and I offer as well some proposed
> language (first go-around) for when a SC is 'enhanced' or augmented like
> this.
> <example>
> *1.4.10 Contrast (Minimum) Plus:*
>      In addition to meeting *Success Criteria 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)*
> <> the visual
> presentation of linked iconography also has a contrast ratio of at least
> 4.5:1 (AA)
> </example>
> (In other words, the new Success Criteria clearly indicates that it is
> being built "on top" of an existing SC, by clearly stating that both the
> 'old' AND 'new' SC must be met for 2.1 compliance).
> Thoughts?
> JF
> On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM, Michael Gower <**
> <>> wrote:
> For a couple of meetings, we've discussed various possible scenarios for
> how to updated WCAG for the 2.1 release (as proposed in
> **
> <>)
> I have something I would like to float to the group.
> What if we made all existing 2.0 AA criteria into level A in 2.1 and
> introduced new criteria at AA and AAA levels?
> Potential benefits:
> Almost every jurisdiction currently measuring against WCAG 2.0 does so
> against Level AA. As far as I know, very few jurisdictions measure ONLY
> level A, and I am not aware of any that enforce level AAA.
> So by making the existing A and AA requirements all become level A in 2.1
> we would be resetting the baseline without altering any numbering.
> It would allow sites that currently meet 2.0 AA to immediately report
> compliance with 2.1 A, and then begin ramping up to meet the newly
> introduced requirements.
> As was made pretty clear in our discussions, the numbers are crucial for
> cross-referencing and reporting on compliance. But realistically, folks
> focus on the level for targets and they use the textual name of the
> criteria for meaning. With the letter level now established as the yard
> stick for measurement, and level A established as backward compatible, we
> would be free to introduce numbering updates for the new SC in whatever
> manner makes the most sense (for clarity, consistency, etc).
> Making existing criteria all be level A makes things less messy. For 2.1,
> there are two dozen new Level A proposed and almost as many new level AA.
> If all those went ahead as proposed and you are trying to report both WCAG
> 2.0 and 2.1 compliance for your product, imagine how convoluted your
> mappings are going to be, and how much additional churn that is going to
> create for teams. Such things will have a significant affect on adoption
> rates for 2.1.
> I'm sure folks will perceive pros and cons to this, but I thought I'd don
> my body armour and throw it out there.
> Michael Gower
> IBM Accessibility
> --
> John Foliot
> Principal Accessibility Strategist
> Deque Systems Inc.
> ** <>
> Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion

Received on Monday, 9 January 2017 22:10:24 UTC