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RE: Level AA exceptions

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:55:09 -0500
To: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, GLWAI Guidelines WG org <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFF2A8DF8D.2DC9C884-ON86257EA1.006AECA1-86257EA1.006D6D4F@us.ibm.com>
Jonathan, good discussion

". . .I worry that adding in this information for specific AA criteria 
might facilitate organizations or governing bodies cherry picking the 
Level AA success criteria that can be skipped"
I worry too, but what prevents them?  Each organization or governing body 
is left on their own, at least with no guidance from the working group. 

". . . I wouldn?t say SC 2.4.7 Focus Visible is not essential."

Agree, exactly an example of my point.  Why is it level AA then?  Are 
there some factors we need to consider?  Does it confuse or help some 
user?  Is it not applicable to all content all the time? Which content and 
when? 

". . . conflating factors such as the technological challenges, e.g. video 
description. "

OK, that factor helps explain why  SC 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions is Level 
AA, but are the technological challenge factors that apply to SC 2.4.6 
Focus Visible that assigned it to Level AA?  I dont think so.  But, what 
were the factors then? Did it have to do with the better solution being 
implemented in the browser settings?  Where is that documented?  and how 
can we as a community better rally behind it to get the browser 
manufactures to imlement user preference settings for visible focus 
indicators? 

". . . I?m not clear on how this would help practitioners better apply the 
success criteria. "

In my example above it would help practitioners understand that the 
"better" solution is (or could be) actually met by the browser/UA, and not 
to do "bad" thinngs like bright yellow thick focus indicators for all 
users on all content all the time.  We want adaptable defaults in this 
situation, correct?  Explaining that for each SC would, in my opinion help 
practitioners,  All the new practitioners that I meet are always asking 
when and why, after they first ask for an "best practice" example 
implementation that goes beyond the sufficient techniques.  Maybe we need 
a survey developed, like the Web AIM Screen Reader sruvey, to ask 
practitioners what they need most, hmm... 

". . . What might be useful is to call out the specific checkpoints under 
level AA that must be evaluated across multiple pages of a site"

Agree, that is also very useful, for designers to design in consistency, 
developers to implement it consistenly,  and testers to validate it.

___________________________________________
Regards,
Phill Jenkins, 




From:   Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
To:     Phill Jenkins/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, WAI Interest Group 
<w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date:   08/13/2015 09:07 PM
Subject:        RE: Level AA exceptions



  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? 
 
Phil, I worry that adding in this information for specific AA criteria 
might facilitate organizations or governing bodies cherry picking the 
Level AA success criteria that can be skipped.   In fact I?m very 
confident that if we said they weren?t essential that is what would 
happen.
 
  So, that says to me that Level AA Success Criteria are not "essential", 
 
 
I wouldn?t say SC 2.4.7 Focus Visible is not essential.  Actually most of 
the others are essential too for different user groups (e.g. cognitive 
disabilities)? but as you point out have conflating factors such as the 
technological challenges, e.g. video description.  To a person who is 
blind or visually impaired video description may be absolutely required to 
understand a particular video and transcript is not equivalent.  That is 
if we say a transcript is not acceptable for a user who is deaf how can we 
say a transcript is acceptable for a person who is blind?
 
  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? 
 
I?m not clear on how this would help practitioners better apply the 
success criteria.  There are already many techniques around applying the 
success criteria and the understanding documents provide good value ? 
knowing that something is difficult to implement or may affect your visual 
design is something that depends on the framework and tools available and 
can vary widely.
 
What might be useful is to call out the specific checkpoints under level 
AA that must be evaluated across multiple pages of a site ? consistent 
navigation, consistent labels, multiple ways, etc.  Testing/addressing 
these issues across sets of pages likely requires more attention from 
tests and developers and does not get the attention it deserves.
 
Best Regards,
 
Jonathan
 
-- 
Jonathan Avila
Chief Accessibility Officer
SSB BART Group 
jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com
 
703-637-8957 (o) 
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From: Phill Jenkins [mailto:pjenkins@us.ibm.com] 
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 8:42 PM
To: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Level AA exceptions 
 
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 
"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 19:55:47 UTC

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