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

+1 to David’s comments.

From: David MacDonald []
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:03 AM
To: Wayne Dick <>
Cc: lisa.seeman <>; 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)

>The group never considered Cognitive and LV disabilities with the necessary care in the past to solve the real problems.

I think it's important to understand what WCAG is and isn't. In my opinion, WCAG is not a place to invent solutions to accessibility barriers. It is a place to VET existing solutions, and to provide a means for authors to honour existing solutions. The fact that we are trying to create a plugin that linearizes content, to show that it can be done, and are encountering many problems in the process, shows that there are currently no existing tools doing this. The fact that we are trying to accommodate cognitive attributes that have not been recognized in any standard yet, shows that there are currently no tools. I hope there soon will be. There has been almost no progress on these tools since WCAG 2.

I think both Lisa and Wayne have good points, the cognitive and low vision community are both sorely lacking in adequate tools. The cognitive community needs AT that will simplify language and interfaces. It needs a standard of attributes to mark up content to read these and personalize the interface. The Low vision community needs tools to linearize content etc...

WCAG can't fix that. When tools exist, then we can make requirements on authors to not break the effective functioning of those tools or plugins etc... This is what we've done with screen readers and it is what we can do in other domains as well.

Regarding WCAG's attentiveness to the needs of people with low vision and cognitive disabilities. I was there. I saw the research available, I saw the tools available. WCAG did everything in its power to make requirements that were acceptable to all stakeholders given the lack of tools.

I would like to see our limited time put into trying to solve our current problems within our current constraints. We have been charted to create a backward compatible updated version of WCAG 2.0. Version 2.1. We can't stray to ffar beyond that. We haven't been chartered to solve the lack of sufficient solutions that don't exist.

David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

Tel:  613.235.4902



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            Including those with disabilities

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On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 1:00 AM, Wayne Dick <<>> wrote:
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 |


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Received on Thursday, 16 February 2017 19:12:05 UTC