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Re: WCAG 2.0 and JAWS

From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 10:22:07 -0500
Message-ID: <5016A69F.6080502@w3.org>
To: Karen Lewellen <klewellen@shellworld.net>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Karen Lewellen wrote: ...my original question was if the w3c has a pr arm equal to the standards creating one ... ?

Hi Karen,

Here is a bit more information in addition to what others have explained about how W3C works.

W3C has a small Communications Team. WAI has an Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). Most of the active EOWG participants volunteer their time, that is, they are not paid by organizations for their EOWG work. (which is different from most W3C Working Group participants, as Charles explained) Much of EOWG's work is linked from:
* http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/Overview.html
* http://www.w3.org/WAI/gettingstarted/Overview.html
* http://www.w3.org/WAI/train.html
* http://www.w3.org/WAI/managing.html

So the answer is, as Charles says, "no", we don't have "a pr arm equal to the standards creating one" -- yet we do have some related efforts in communication, education, and outreach.

Another related effort is the "WAI-Engage" W3C Community Group that is still getting going. You can learn more about joining WAI-Engage from http://www.w3.org/community/wai-engage/
There is a WAI-Engage wiki page started on "Promoting web accessibility" at http://www.w3.org/community/wai-engage/wiki/Promoting_web_accessibility

If you have specific questions or suggestions on web accessibility education and outreach, feel free to contact me directly.


Shawn Lawton Henry
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
e-mail: shawn@w3.org
phone: +1.617.395.7664
about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/

> Karen Lewellen wrote:
>> But...my original question was if the w3c has a pr arm equal to the standards creating one to help curb the sort of assumptions that started this thread in the first place?
Chaals McCathieNevile wrote:
> The answer is "no". WAI (the bit of W3C most focused on accessibility) has
> about 4-5 staff. The work of creating standards is done by many people, a
> lot of them paid for by organisations who first pay for W3C to exist,
> through membership fees, then put up the resources to do most of the work.
> We're talking big bikkies, too. Microsoft and Google are very big companies, with their revenue very substantially tied to the internet. But Opera (my former employer) is orders of magnitude smaller, yet has literally dozens of active participants working at W3C. Add up membership fees, travel and similar expenses for meetings, and the time that people like Patrick, the people who chair working groups, and the people who work on HTML5 and other standards put in, and their commitment looks like a real proportion of their annual revenue.
> The W3C is unusual. It positively welcomes active participation by the public and works to deal with all that feedback, which is not cheap (and slows down the work). This is because the members who are paying for the work agree that this leads to better standards in the long run.
> Adding a W3C PR effort to this is not cheap. W3C has 50-100 staff, and speaking as someone who was once one of them generally they work very hard. Adding a couple of new people is a significant impact on their budget, and trying to re-assign existing staff raises the question of what they should stop doing. Many members spend significant amounts of their own money and resources doing PR, and while naturally it is focused on what they want it also effectively provides outreach capability for W3C. Patrick Lauke is one of a number of Opera employees actively involved in developer outreach, which provides a big focus on W3C work.
> W3C does indeed influence the world. But as good as the staff are, it is not just them who make it happen - it is very much a community effort. Some of the community puts up a lot of money to help. Even then, many of the people involved add work done on their own time to what the company paid for. As Patrick says, it really is up to us. We the people made W3C what it is, and we should be thinking about how to make sure it continues to be effective and valuable.
> There ain't no free lunch, bring your own. And a bit extra to share is always appreciated, and helps to make the table a happy place.
> cheers
> Chaals
Received on Monday, 30 July 2012 15:22:26 UTC

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