RE: Does anyone else agree with my perspective - was Re: "we should not allow user testing in exceptions" (was Re: clarifing the debate)

Hi Wayne

I totally understand the frustration and agree that many of the needs of people with Cognitive and LV disabilities cannot be fully met without the possibility of user testing. The problem is we are dealing with WCAG 2.1. This is intended to be a plug-and-play replacement for WCAG 2.0.

Currently many parts of the world build the whole of their legal framework related to accessible ICT around WCAG 2.0. Every player in the evaluation process understand the "burdens" involved in testing related to WCAG 2.0.

In Europe we hope to be in a position to switch to requiring WCAG 2.1 at the very earliest opportunity. If we do not significantly change the "burden" of complying with WCAG 2.1 then I am optimistic that this switch to WCAG 2.1 could be accepted with the minimum of resistance. However, if user testing is introduced as a requirement (even related to an Exception of a single SC) I would see there being a huge level of resistance to moving to WCAG 2.1. I speak from a position of helping to get the heavily WCAG 2.0-based European standard through some tough and detailed scrutiny of the implications of every requirement.

I think that there ought to be serious consideration of how accessibility can be moved forward into areas where user testing may be the only approach, but these discussions and agreements need to be made at the highest level involving all parties that will be impacted by the consequences of such a move. This surely has to be a high-level issue that needs to be solved when considering WCAG Silver (or even WCAG 2.2).

Best regards


From: Wayne Dick []
Sent: 16 February 2017 06:00
To: lisa.seeman <>
Cc: Joshue O Connor <>; John Foliot <>; W3c-Wai-Gl-Request@W3. Org <>
Subject: Re: Does anyone else agree with my perspective - was Re: "we should not allow user testing in exceptions" (was Re: clarifing the debate)

I agree with you Lisa. The old WCAG did not study cognitive disabilities enough to determine how to test ways to overcome barriers. WCAG 2.0 focused on a narrow and easily defined set of disabilities with highly testable barriers. It was not inclusive.
I too find the current AG process frustrating. The group never considered Cognitive and LV disabilities with the necessary care in the past to solve the real problems. This is witnessed by their inadequate framework for testing barriers for these disabilities.  They are imposing differential standards to these disability groups because they are not looking for new testing methods for a new type of problem. If the old testing techniques do not work, then a proven barrier to access are left in place.
Grappling with and solving the real needs of people with LV and Cognitive disabilities is a test for the legitimacy of the AG working group as a leader in accessibility guidelines. If guidelines and test procedures cannot be expanded to accurately identify insurmountable barriers for people in these disability groups, then the disability community will have to look to other leadership for developing accessibility standards.

Yes I can see how small sample user testing techniques need to be built by organizations the claim to test for accessibility.

On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 11:20 AM, lisa.seeman <<>> wrote:
Hi folks
At the risk of shooting my self in the foot but ... to enable us to move on

Does anyone else see this as an issue. If I am the only one with a problem with it, then I will conseed to consensus, rewrite the exceptions that depend on it,  and we can move on.

All the best

Lisa Seeman

LinkedIn<>, Twitter<>

---- On Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:24:07 +0200 Joshue O Connor<<>> wrote ----
Hi John,

Fair point or not, I don't at this point feel the need to go thru another CFC that allows or does not allow user testing in situation x, or to limit it under exception y. I'm not fully clear on the implication of doing such a thing, nor am I clear on the reason why we might. You seem to be, which is cool :-)

My main concern at the moment, is that we cannot make user testing a requirement in 2.1. End of story. However, I don't want to wrangle our spec to stop people from testing or imply that that cannot do it under situation A or B. People can test all they like, in any situation, if they wish to as far as I'm concerned.

As I stated - at the moment, I feel I just don't fully grok some of the points being made here but even with that aside - the original CFC was clear IMO.



John Foliot<>
15 February 2017 at 15:58

Lisa has a fair point.

Can I request that a second CfC go out that explicitly states that "we should not allow user testing in exceptions" - for the same reasons that user-testing for conformance was rejected?

This way we can be sure that the consensus has been recorded properly and accurately, and everyone understands what they are registering their position on.



John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Deque Systems Inc.<>

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion

Joshue O Connor
Director |


Received on Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:35:33 UTC