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

To your last point, there was strong support on the WG to emphasize the importance of user studies in WCAG 2.1, so we will definitely want to do that and will appreciate any help you and others on the group can provide with the wording.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Standards and Accessibility

From: "McSorley, Jan" <<>>
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 06:47
To: "<>" <<>>
Cc: Joshue O Connor <<>>, John Foliot <<>>, WCAG <<>>
Subject: Re: Does anyone else agree with my perspective - was Re: "we should not allow user testing in exceptions" (was Re: clarifing the debate)
Resent-From: WCAG <<>>
Resent-Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 06:48

Hi Lisa,

I share your concerns and have seen in practice that user studies are often not used to find barriers that cannot be found in other ways.  As an example, I have been told that user studies are not needed because "we're using Twitter Bootstrap and millions of people use Twitter so it must be accessible."  In short, there are a lot of assumptions made about accessibility and usability by people who are not familiar with disabilities. Just because we don't have an "easy" way of testing something doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be tested.

Paragraph 61 of the special report of 17th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council<> states that "...even where Internet connection is available, disadvantaged groups, such as persons with disabilities and persons belonging to minority groups, often face barriers to accessing the Internet in a way that is meaningful, relevant and useful to them in their daily lives.“  While I understand that there are limits to what the W3C can do, I also believe that the ultimate goal is to help people with disabilities have meaningful, relevant and useful access to information and I think we need to take the time to make sure we carefully word the importance of user studies, even if it doesn't make it in as a requirement.

Jan McSorley

VP, Accessibility
Psychometrics and Testing Services

400 Center Ridge Drive, Suite E
Austin, TX  78753

M - (512) 673-9569

Twitter: @Jan_McSorley
Skype:  jan.mcsorley<>

Learn more at<>


We put a man on the moon in the 1960's ... surely we can make information technology fully accessible to people with disabilities.  It can be done ... it must be done ... it will be done!

On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 1:20 PM, 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 13:19:11 UTC