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Re: Level AA exceptions

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:33:50 -0400
Message-ID: <CAEy-OxHh-yNt8Kvi2e+yY9BMEk1WDcd8k1H0Sc=_RwBgkvgmLQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: CAE-Vanderhe <gregg@raisingthefloor.org>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
This matches my recollection as well Gregg. (I think I recall a very lively
and heated debate at a F2F in probably Seattle in 2004 where we began
solidifying the A levels paradigm instead of WCAG 1 Priority levels).....
On Aug 14, 2015 12:22 AM, "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gregg@raisingthefloor.org>

> Hi Phil
> Being Essential was indeed *one* of the factors.
> However *essential* was *not* the dividing line between A and AA.   There
> are AA level provisions that are essential as well.    In fact there are
> AAA level provisions that are essential but that are in Level AAA because
> it was not possible to meet them for all web sites and types of content
> that the SC would apply.   So Essential is not a criteria by itself for an
> SC being in any level.    None of the items in the list was determinant for
> level A or AA provisions.
> How were the levels decided for each SC?
> As the Understanding WCAG 2.0 doc says - it was based on many factors -
> some of which are listed below.
> All of these factors in the list were considered by the working group in
> deciding which level something went into.  There was never one factor.
> And there is no formula.  The level the SC ended up in was the level that
> the group reached consensus on for that provision -  given the different
> considerations below and more.  The list below are the ones identified in
> asking the group what was considered.    But it is not likely that is is
> exhaustive.
> So the answer to  “*why was a particular SC placed in level A or AA or
> AAA?”*  is:
>   *Because it was the consensus of the Working Group that it be placed
> there.*
> And the answer to  “B*hat did they consider in placing the provision
> there?”*  is:
> * The list in Understanding WCAG 2.0 gives the major considerations we
> identified but there are likely others as well. *These are the ones the
> working group identified in answering this question.
> So what is the difference between A  and AA and AAA.  Think of them as a
> measure of accessibility as in    1 inch  2 inches and 3 inches.   each one
> is longer than the one  before.     A is so accessible. AA is more
> accessible and AAA is still more accessible.       People can decide how
> long (inches ) is long enough for a nail for example in order to hold up a
> beam.     Or how accessible something has to be in order to meet a minimum
> accessible standard.      Most have decided that A was not enough and that
> AA should be required by looking at what was in A and AA.    The working
> group recommended against requiring AAA for all content because there are
> some provisions there than cannot be applied to all content.  And there are
> other factors for others that put them in this category.   But there are
> places that require AAA for some parts of a site - or for some types of
> content - where they could apply there.   And there are those who reach AAA
> because they can for their site and they want to go further than Level AA.
> Hope this helps.
> (PS this is from my personal knowledge and memory of the working group and
> the proceedings - and is not an official statement of the working group)
> (PPS  the PS  is my standard disclaimer for anything that is from my
> recollection and understanding and not reviewed and vetted by the working
> group current and past).
> *gregg*
> ----------------------------------
> Gregg Vanderheiden
> gregg@raisingthefloor.org
> On Aug 13, 2015, at 7:41 PM, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> As more and more policies and regulations adopt *both level A and AA* and
> thereby place more of the responsibility and burden on the web content, the
> notion of the difference between and rationale for having Level A and AA is
> getting lost and misunderstood.
> Is there still general consensus that there are interacting issue that
> need to be considered when applying Level AA Success Criteria to all web
> content and web applications?
> See *Understanding Levels of Conformance*
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/complete.html#uc-levels-head>
> http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/complete.html#uc-levels-head
> "The Success Criteria were assigned to one of the three levels of
> conformance by the working group after taking into consideration a wide
> range of interacting issues. *Some of the common factors* evaluated when
> setting the level included:
>    - whether the Success Criterion is *essential* (in other words, if the
>    Success Criterion isn't met, then even assistive technology can't make
>    content accessible)
>    - whether it is possible to satisfy the Success Criterion for *all Web
>    sites and types of content* that the Success Criteria would apply to
>    (e.g., different topics, types of content, types of Web technology)
>    - whether the Success Criterion requires skills that could *reasonably
>    be achieved by the content creators* (that is, the knowledge and skill
>    to meet the Success Criteria could be acquired in a week's training or less)
>    - whether the Success Criterion would impose limits on the "look &
>    feel" and/or function of the Web page. (limits on function, presentation,
>    freedom of expression, design or aesthetic that the Success Criteria might
>    place on authors)
>    - whether there are no workarounds if the Success Criterion is not
>    met."
> So, that says to me that Level AA Success Criteria are not "essential",
>  some may not *always* apply to *all *types of content (e.g. contrast on
> complex visualizations), some may require skills that cannot *always* be
> *reasonably* achieved by the content creators (e.g. video descriptions),
> and that it may *impose limits* on the "look & feel" and/or function
> (e.g. more images / less text), although I believe those success criteria
> imposing limits were identified as Level AAA.
> In other words "...you are advocating that AA success criteria should have
> more 'wiggle room' than Level A Success Criteria" ?
> Yes, because the working group reached consensus on making it level AA
> instead of Level A* because* of the wide range of interacting issues.
> However, none of the supporting documents (Note1) have listed the specific
> "interacting issues" per individual success criteria for why it was
> assigned level AA or level AAA instead of level A.  Yes there are
> exceptions listed where appropriate for both Level A and AA Success
> Criteria, but those are not the all the issues discussed that caused the
> criteria to be assigned as AA instead of A.  Most if not all the
> "interacting issues" are logged deep in the e-mail archives of the working
> group.
> So, should there be documentation added on the rationale for why a success
> criteria was assigned level AA (instead of A or AAA) to help practitioners
> better understand "how to apply level AA success criteria" as compared to
> applying Level A success criteria?   For example, should a non-normative
> section be added titled  "Rationale for assigning this SC to Level AA" be
> added  to the Understanding WCAG 2.0 guide?
> Note 1: Supporting documents:
> 1. Understanding WCAG 2.0
> http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/complete.html
> 2. How to Meet WCAG 2.0 http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/
> ____________________________________________
> Regards,
> Phill Jenkins,
Received on Friday, 14 August 2015 12:34:19 UTC

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