RE: Proposal: We need to identify whether a proposed SC applies broadly


I was reading through your email and I’m thinking is not possible that there would be “professionals” that would have disabilities?

Do we not need to consider accessibility for employees as an employer to meet the US Government’s Section 503 if applicable?

Alan Smith

Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:58 AM
Subject: Proposal: We need to identify whether a proposed SC applies broadly

Hello everyone, 

It’s my understanding that our goal is to make every website accessible to everyone and develop guidelines that are universally applicable. Given that, I’m really struggling with how to apply some of the proposed SCs to *all* websites.  

Please note: I’m using “website” generically – I’m including mobile apps, software, etc. I’m also using “computer” generically to include all devices we use to interact with digital content.

Proposed SCs need to identify targeted types/categories of websites, based on expected users, because not all websites can or should be expected to conform to all categories of user needs. In other words, a site geared toward the practice of medicine doesn’t need to take into account my autistic nephew, but a bank site where he can check is bank balance, does. 
There are multiple “professional” websites. In fact, my company has over 150 digital product offerings. These sites are designed for highly educated professionals to be used in the course of their jobs. Our target audience includes legal professionals, data scientists, tax and accounting professionals and other expert users. These users are in careers that require a very high level of knowledge and cognitive functioning. Their licenses require a very high level of knowledge and cognitive functioning. This leads me to the conclusion that some of the proposed SCs fail because they do not apply to all user profiles. 

However, I also see merit in those same proposed SCs. It seems like we have two options.
1. Throw out all the “squishy” SCs
2. Create a “category” for those SCs that may not apply to all websites. This is not accurate, but for the sake of this proposal, it could be something like “public” and “professional” as an example.

Some websites do need to be accessible and usable by virtually everyone who can use a computer. For example, everyone should be able to check their bank balance or fill out online job applications (assuming they are qualified for those jobs). But for websites that target specific people or groups of people such as graduate students, doctors, or lawyers, it may be impossible for them to present their content and the functionality of their website such that every person who uses a computer can use and understand their websites. I’m concerned that we will be putting companies such as mine in a position to have to choose between their business needs and accessibility standards. To me, this harms our reputation as a standards-generating body. 

We already separate out accessibility guidelines, such as those targeting page authoring, testers, and so on. 
What do you think? I think we need to have a conversation about this and figure out a way to keep the some of the new SCs, even if they don’t apply to every website. 
Kimberlee Dirks, JD
Accessibility Specialist, Legal UX
Thomson Reuters

Received on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 17:10:35 UTC