The stricter evaluation always wins (was Re: WCAG 2.3 v 3.0 - was RE: XR Subgroup Update [April 27th 2021])

On 01/05/2021 14:17, Charles Hall wrote:
> A point was raised on subjectivity and the fact that different 
> evaluators will draw different conclusions. That has been obvious for 
> the entirety of the guidelines. It was also proven by research conducted 
> very early in Silver, which provided the insight that when any two 
> accessibility experts (high degree of domain knowledge) conducted an 
> evaluation, the highest degree of overlap in their conclusions was 80%. 
> That insight along with the lived experience that several have voiced in 
> this thread seems to have lead the group to believe that is a bad thing 
> and that we must somehow achieve a higher amount. In my opinion and 
> experience, the insight is a wonderful and very useful thing which 
> reveals the complexity of human needs.
> Hypothetical scenario: evaluator A believes something meets or passes a 
> criterion; evaluator B does not. That could mean {n} number of things, 
> which of course would include the “different understanding of the 
> criterion”. All of those {n} things are valid, as is the conclusion.
> As the entire purpose of the guidelines is to help ensure the absence of 
> barriers, if any individual evaluator or end user interprets or 
> experiences a barrier, then it should be accepted as one by any other 
> individual that did not. If a single person among the sum of humanity is 
> prevented from an action that they have a basic human right to take, it 
> matters.
> So in the hypothetical scenario, the conclusion of evaluator B wins.

I'm sorry, but I disagree here. WCAG's purpose is to provide a measure 
baseline. Some auditors have a very...unique way and hardline 
interpretation of certain SCs, and in some cases read more into an SC 
than what it actually normatively says. Of course, they're free to do 
so, but then should not claim that they're evaluating it against the 
normative wording of WCAG. And as WCAG is used as a benchmark in law, 
they really have to tread carefully. This would be essentially "if two 
judges disagree on whether or not a defendant has broken the law, the 
one that finds that yes, based on their interpretation of the law, the 
defendant is guilty always wins" (since their goal is to help ensure the 
absence of illegal behaviors).

Not as cut-and-dry as that, I'd say...

Patrick H. Lauke | |
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

Received on Saturday, 1 May 2021 13:58:46 UTC