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Re: 2.2 / Silver separation

From: John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 09:12:22 -0600
Message-ID: <CAKdCpxzn1xX-27Na75ArQ1dS8v0Z4-uxpCQbgwUAnCfEWtqokA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Joshue O Connor - InterAccess <josh@interaccess.ie>
Cc: Denis Boudreau <denis.boudreau@deque.com>, Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, Wilco Fiers <wilco.fiers@deque.com>, GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Hi Josh,

I think, more than anything else, the real problem is "conformance models",
and yes, the current model of Live or Die (pass or fail).

For individual Success Criteria, I don't think Meets or Does Not Meet is
wrong, but it's at the cumulative level that things break down. Regulatory
bodies have taken our guidance, and turned it into law, and it is those
regulatory bodies who have essentially imposed the pass/fail barrier that
now troubles development shops and publishing entities. I think Silver
groks that, and is looking at a better mechanism, but what they are
proposing (what I see and hear in draft mode) may not actually be 100%
correct when we start to stress-test it. I for one have some lingering
concerns, but I also have faith in Jeanne and Shawn and other members of
that TF, so I am waiting patiently to see their presentation at CSUN (and
FWIW, I have been partially active in the Silver TF as time has allowed - I
truly wish those who want to go full steam ahead on Silver would show up to
either of that TF's weekly calls).

Meanwhile, technology marches on. I noted with interest that the TTML
Working Group is now working on captioning for the VR environment (
https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2019JanMar/0253.html) and I
will suggest that at some point, we'll likely need some accessibility
guidance there. Ditto, under the APA, there is work emerging around the
Pronunciation TF that *might* also surface some new requirements/guidance
for developers. Does speech as a mode of input require more, now that we
live in a Siri, Alexa, Corana, OK Google world? COGA has more needs that
must be met, and I think that both the LV and Mobile TF's have more
potential SC's that missed the 2.1 bus, but could perhaps be ready for the
next bus (2.2), or the bus after that (2.3?) - no matter the larger
picture, we still need, at the granular level, to provide appropriate and
solid guidance and conformance techniques for the technology that is

Yes, we seem to be adding "more and more things", and whether those things
live in a WCAG 2.x framework, or a Silver framework, the more technology we
have, the more requirements we'll have. Yes, that seems to increase the
burden on content producers when we can articulate more measurable
requirements, but even if we don't have them today, we still know about
gaps and problems in user experiences. (So, for example - my current
favorite example - VR is a thing today: early days for sure, but mainstream
enough that it is being monetized in the commercial world
Failing to start thinking about accessibility requirements and concerns
there is a failure on our part to keep up).

This current thread was started by Alastair in response to Wilco's
comments, and I mostly agree when Alastair says "*...I don’t think Silver
can meet its requirements without changing things, and that will require a
migration of content.*", and completely agree when he says "*...I suspect
that migration is underestimated, mostly because content migration is
always underestimated, by everyone.*" I think this is going to be a huge
task, because to "change things", to re-think and/or re-articulate the
existing legally mandated requirements is going to take a lot of effort and
time - certainly longer than the constraints that W3C Charters impose upon
us (i.e. I still think Silver is 3 to 5 years out - maybe more, and W3C
Charters tend to be between 18 months and 3 years in duration)

Josh, I hear your concern, but will suggest that those entities that are
struggling with the volume of requirements are focused too closely on the
trees, rather than looking at the forest. Even if the framework changes,
even if the conformance model changes, we'll still continue to have a
growing list of needs and solutions/requirements for technology, as tech
marches on. You wrote:

Where you are a public sector body or receive gov funding and these
requirements become 'too much' - then some may choose to close down their
website, rather than face legal penalties.

In one of our training decks at Deque, we have a slide that illustrates the
problem when accessibility is reduced to a series of check lists. The slide
shows a number of buttons in an elevator (lift), and because the elevator
is ADA compliant, each button has braille signage. And so, beside the
button, written in braille, is a sign that states "Push To Open Door When
Lit" (think about it...)  I'll echo Denis' observations that once we get
the designers and developers to start really thinking about the *needs* of
their users rather than the length of how many SC there are, that's when we
start to see progress. I've seen it happen numerous times when training: at
some point the light bulb comes on, and then they start asking about how to
solve the problems, rather than how to check the tick-box. If you really
*need* a list, may I humbly suggest a list of 4 requirements: Content must
be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust  - everything else is
simply how to get there in different contexts and environments.

[image: image.png]
[alt: picture of three elevator buttons with braille signage]

Please, do not get me wrong. I fully support moving towards a next-gen
Accessibility Guidelines Recommendation. I think some believe it will be a
simple process, and that we should drop everything and work on that now. I
personally don't believe either of those things - I still support working
towards them, but in practical terms, I also believe we need to keep
working on individual guidances (aka Success Criteria), because whether we
like it or not, we work in an evolving environment, and at some point we
*will* face the situation where engineers will come to us and say "what do
we have to do here?"


On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 8:05 AM Joshue O Connor - InterAccess <
josh@interaccess.ie> wrote:

> I hear that Denis and good points a la moving with the times, and industry
> requirements. For some context - I've had some interesting experiences
> working in government lately, and my principle issues with continuing down
> the 2.x route is the idea of adding more and more 'things' for
> devs/designers/authors to do. More requirements, more SCs etc. Combining
> that with the current rigid conformance model, which I would dearly like to
> see changed, I think may make the a11y project much more difficult and
> cumbersome for those who aim to conform - especially for the 'cant
> cook/won't cook' section.
> Fine if you have a11y knowledge/expertise and want to do the right thing,
> but very hard if you just don't have that knowledge, and want to do the
> right thing. So adding more ever more requirements to me seems counter
> productive. We are still telling our clients about the benefits of
> headings, and there is a still a dearth of them.
> Where you are a public sector body or receive gov funding and these
> requirements become 'too much' - then some may choose to close down their
> website, rather than face legal penalties. So I'd like a model that
> supports those who are doing their best, and may not have either big bucks
> or a11y knowledge on tap - without loading lots of extra SCs.
> I could live with a 2.2, 2.3 etc, with a different conformance model -
> which factors in 'extra' efforts such as user needs gathering/ involvement,
> or user testing that was undertaken, or where an organisation can
> demonstrate they are at least aware of diverse user needs and may be making
> other accommodations. On reflection, I guess my primary issue is with the
> absolutist nature of the current conformance model - rather than with 2.x
> or Silver per se.
> Thanks
> Josh
> Denis Boudreau wrote:
> Hello,
> I, for one, am not clear what we're voting on anymore. +1 or -1. All I
> know from my standpoint is that the world needs improvements to WCAG 2.x
> while Silver slowly builds itself up. The more I teach WCAG 2.1 to people,
> the more I see them opening their minds about what they can imagine could
> also become part of WCAG 2.x. That wasn't the case before. People were
> looking at WCAG 2.0 as these immutable rules that had to follow. With WCAG
> 2.1, some are strarting to understand that they cold maybe influence the
> outcome. There's momentum there.
> People are barely starting to consider the possibility that there could be
> additions to WCAG. That maybe even their ideas could be considered - if
> they have the stamina to go through that process. Stopping at WCAG 2.1
> while the W3C retreats to its ivory tower to create Silver (a very elite
> task if you ask me), is not what the world needs. That work on Silver is
> supremely important, but the W3C has an opportunity to keep in touch with
> the web industry with more frequent updates through WCAG 2.x, and I think
> we really keep that in mind.
> I think the world actually needs a WCAG 2.2. It will likely take years to
> come up with a stable version of Sliver, and I wouldn't be surprised if it
> actually took a lot more years than we envision. By wanting to make it more
> about the user experience - which I wholeheartedly applaud - we are also
> making it much more difficult to test in a quantitative, empirical and
> measurable way.  Nailing that piece alone I'm sure will take a long time.
> In the meantime, the web keeps involving, and so should WCAG 2.x.
> This WG could still keep adding to the existing SC while Silver finds its
> foundations, and each new SC addition to WCAG 2.x could be an inspiration
> for what could naturally emerge as part of Silver, once we get to defining
> that. I understand that it's hard to commit to both, but in the name of the
> greater good for accessibility, maybe we just need to pick our battles and
> choose which activity we're individually going to contribute to the most.
> /Denis
> *Denis Boudreau, CPWA* | Principal Accessibility SME & Training Lead
> | 514-730-9168
> Deque Systems - Accessibility for Good
> Deque.com <http://www.deque.com>
> On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 7:54 AM Joshue O Connor - InterAccess <
> josh@interaccess.ie> wrote:
>> Alastair Campbell wrote:
>> [....]
>> Ironically a -1 to the CFC is saying we shouldn’t do a 2.2. I think we’ll
>> have to refine the question.
>> -1 to a WCAG 2.2. I don't think its what the world needs.
>> Happy to discuss.
>> -Alastair
>> 1] https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3856-the-big-rewrite-revisited
>> --
>> Joshue O Connor
>> Director | InterAccess.ie
> --
> Joshue O Connor
> Director | InterAccess.ie

*John Foliot* | Principal Accessibility Strategist | W3C AC Representative
Deque Systems - Accessibility for Good

(image/png attachment: image.png)

Received on Friday, 22 February 2019 15:13:26 UTC

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