RE: Regulatory / Government requirements for - WCAG Next Possible Models



All that is absolutely correct, and I agree we should talk with the US Access Board for US participation.


As said many times here, nothing will change WCAG 2, and no one needs to adopt WCAG 2.1 (or whatever it will be called). However, if organizations chose to they may adopt WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria as Best Practices to their current WCAG 2.0 conformance model (or not) – and then if/when they determine they will move to WCAG 2.1 they will be closely aligned.


I think this model helps not only governments see a way forward, but industry as well. Accessibility Tool makers can ensure a scalability of their tool by planning to add new tests to their test suites. Those that wish to include the best practice tests will be ahead of the game – and may be a differentiator for them.


​​​​​It is about time we moved this bolder forward!!




* katie *


Katie Haritos-Shea 
Principal ICT Accessibility Architect (WCAG/Section 508/ADA/AODA)


Cell: 703-371-5545 |  <> | Oakton, VA |  <> LinkedIn Profile | Office: 703-371-5545


From: Phill Jenkins [] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 1:23 PM
To: John Foliot <>
Cc: 'Andrew Kirkpatrick' <>; 'ALAN SMITH' <>; 'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)' <>; 'Mike Elledge' <>; 'Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL' <>;
Subject: RE: Regulatory / Government requirements for - WCAG Next Possible Models


Speaking from experience as a previous member of the US Access Board, I strongly recommend that we solicit the board's staff feedback.  For example, there are processes in place that allow currently referenced technical standards (such as WCAG 2.0 is proposed to be in the 508 Refresh), which then allow for a simple update "fast path" to the policy (such as the 508 Refresh) to now reference the new technical standard with a new effective date, etc.  I'm sure companies and other enterprises, universities, and other government around the world have similar ways to update their policies.  I'm using the term "policies" in a broad sense, whether legally binding or not. 

Asking attorneys in the DOJ will give you a more legal interpretation,  while asking the US Access Board staff, will be a little more practical because it is their standard, (not DOJ's) that directly references WCAG 2.0; and it is the board that would have to use the regulatory process to update the 508 standard to reference the new WCAG Next, whether it is 2.1, 2.0 + platform extension, etc. The US Access Board also owns the ADA standards, that the DOJ then adopts and enforce those provisions applicable to them.  Dept of Transportation adopts and enforces theirs, Dept of Under Water Basket Weaving theirs, etc. (sorry, that was a joke).

We should also ask about timing/schedule.  I do not believe the board could turn around a "fast path" reference to a technical standard any faster than 1-2 years.  So if WCAG Next were published every 2 years, then it may take another 1-2 years for the government policy to be updated to reference it.  But I believe we are talking about a "fast path" process here, not the full process that is currently being used for the 508 Refresh.  

Remember, when WCAG Next is published, however it is published, whenever it is published, the "policy makers" still get to decide if and when they adopt the new WCAG Next,  That is a process separate from the W3C WCAG Working group and process.  Lets not try to confuse the two.  
Phill Jenkins, 

From:        "John Foliot" < <> >
To:        "'ALAN SMITH'" < <> >, "'Mike Elledge'" < <> >, "'Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL'" < <> >, "'Andrew Kirkpatrick'" < <> >, "'Macintosh, Kristy \(OMAFRA\)'" < <> >, < <> >
Date:        04/11/2016 11:28 AM
Subject:        RE: Regulatory / Government requirements for - WCAG Next Possible Models


Hi Alan,
If the question is, have we specifically targeted individuals from regulatory or government bodies to solicit feedback, the answer (as far as I know) is No, we have not.

The original email (archived here:  <> was sent to two W3C mailing lists related to accessibility, as well as graciously mirrored by WebAIM on their mailing list. The original email urged wide distribution and sharing, and if you can help facilitate that amongst those constituents please do so. It is recognized that those actors are also involved in our decisions and outcomes.
While we have not attached a hard-deadline for commenting, we *are* anxious to reach some clarity within the next 2 or 3 weeks if possible.
From: ALAN SMITH [ <>] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 11:12 AM
To: Mike Elledge < <> >; Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL < <> >; 'John Foliot' < <> >; 'Andrew Kirkpatrick' < <> >; 'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)' < <> >; <> 
Subject: Regulatory / Government requirements for - WCAG Next Possible Models
We all have great ideas and I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments.
One thing that I have not heard is: 
Have we considered contacting any of the various regulatory or government bodies and queried them as to how they would like revisions to WCAG 2.0 structured from a legal reference and compliance standpoint?
This is an important group of our users.
Once we understand their requirements, we would have more freedom to structure the content for revisions, updates and additions based on topics, coverage, disability needs, new taskforces, success criterion, understandability, technology or other considerations as time goes on.
Sent from  <> Mailfor Windows 10
From:  <> Mike Elledge
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 11:38 AM
To:  <> Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL;  <> 'John Foliot';  <> 'Andrew Kirkpatrick';  <> 'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)';  <>
Subject: Re: WCAG Next Possible Models
I like David's proposal, with release of updates dependent on readiness and not a strict time-schedule. I also agree with Katie's idea of Best Practices becoming normative for an update. 
One of the strengths of having periodic updates is that it would provide a benchmark for a collection of new techniques, success criteria and failures that could be easily referenced, for review and implementation. I worry that publishing individual extensions would complicate the process of introducing new criteria by enabling organizations to cherry-pick the criteria they would apply, and would cause confusion as the number of extensions proliferated, i.e., these extensions are included, these are not. It also will reflect (appropriately, I believe) the priorities established by the working group, and smooth the way for eventual adoption, along with subsequent updates, as WCAG 3.0.
On Monday, April 11, 2016 10:46 AM, Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL < <>> wrote:
In my model, Best Practices would actually be the Success Criteria of WACG 2.1, those same items would be non-normative Best Practices for WCAG 2.0
* katie *
Katie Haritos-Shea
Principal ICT Accessibility Architect (WCAG/Section 508/ADA/AODA)
Cell: 703-371-5545 | <>|Oakton, VA | <> LinkedIn Profile|Office: 703-371-5545
From: John Foliot [ <>] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 10:26 AM
To: 'Andrew Kirkpatrick' < <>>; 'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)' < <>>;  <>
Subject: RE: WCAG Next Possible Models
Hi Andrew,
Good question. Katie Haritos-Shea suggested “…for those organizations required to continue to conform with WCAG 2.0 for some period of time, that they should think about adding any new requirements in WCAG 2.1 as strongly supported *best practices* to their existing routine” which suggests to me that they would be Normative if using WCAG 2.1, but Best Practices if using WCAG 2.0. It’s an interesting idea, and may be a workable way to transition from one to the other.
David MacDonald has also spoken of Best Practices, but I think in a slightly different context. (David, please confirm or correct). My read of David’s idea is that there are some things we know will ultimately benefit end-users if widely adopted, but that for some reason these “things” (yes, deliberately vague for now) may not be able to be written as testable statements, or may only be applicable by technology (mobile/touch screen) or platform (Kristi’s eLearning needs). If I am to understand David’s idea, it would be a new ‘category’ of guidance from WCAG – less ‘legislatively stringent’ than an actual Success Criteria, but a none-the-less measurable (or reportable) development technique(s) that do more than just satisfy an arbitrary line in the sand (a concern raised elsewhere by folks like Paul Adam), but actually are demonstrably better for people with disabilities. A <strawman> WCAG 2.0 AA Plus</strawman> as it were.
(Keep the ideas flowing folks)
From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [ <>] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 9:15 AM
To: John Foliot < <>>; 'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)' < <>>;  <>
Subject: Re: WCAG Next Possible Models
Are best practices normative like WCAG 2.0 or non-normative like techniques?
Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility and Standards
From: John Foliot < <>>
Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 at 10:06
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick < <>>, "'Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)'" < <>>, WAI-IG < <>>
Subject: RE: WCAG Next Possible Models
Although… If I am hearing Kristy clearly (and her desire for a platform-specific “version” is not the first to surface on this list) – I think one of the things this discussion is also surfacing is the need for what David MacDonald refers to as “Best Practices”, and possibly we need Best Practice documents based on technology or platform.
Kristy, would that solve your more immediate need? Andrew, is that something the WCAG WG might look to create?
Thanks for all the input folks!
From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [ <>] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 9:03 AM
To: Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA) < <>>; John Foliot < <>>;  <>
Subject: Re: WCAG Next Possible Models
Nothing that the group does will make what you need to do to meet AODA change.  If we did publish a 2.1, Ontario is still targeting 2.0 AA.  At some point, Ontario might decide to update to WCAG 2.1 (or perhaps it waits until a “3.0” standard is available) and then you would be affected, but we are not seeking to (nor are we able to) change what WCAG 2.0 says.  
WCAG 2.0 says what it says and that won’t change.  We can publish an updated version or publish extensions, but those would need to be addressed in new or updated policies and legislation just like WCAG 2.0 was.  
Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility and Standards
From: "Macintosh, Kristy (OMAFRA)" < <>>
Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 at 09:13
To: John Foliot < <>>, WAI-IG < <>>
Subject: RE: WCAG Next Possible Models
Resent-From: WAI-IG < <>>
Resent-Date: Monday, April 11, 2016 at 09:14
I am in support of option: WCAG 2.0 plus extensions by technology or platform.
I work for the Government of Ontario and as of this past January (2016) we are required by the AODA regulation ( <> to make all our public facing web content comply to WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines. A significant change to the guidelines could have a huge impact on the work we have already done.
A part of our online content is online learning courses (eLearning) and they must also be complaint to WCAG Level AA which is not a straight forward process. These guidelines apply very different to eLearning than to a website or electronic document. I emailed out to the group list a few weeks ago looking for anyone else that was trying to work through defining how WCAG applies to actual eLearning courses and unfortunately there is not a lot of information out there so we are working through developing this. I think that the guidelines would best be served if they are kept mostly as is but had an eLearning extension that developers of online learning can use to ensure that they are meeting guidelines for online learning courses.
From: John Foliot [ <>] 
Sent: April-08-16 12:36 PM
To: WCAG;  <>; 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: WCAG Next Possible Models
[Please share freely]
The WCAG Working Group is looking for public feedback and comment on the creation of extensions to WCAG 2.0. Your input is being solicited today and comments should be forwarded to the WAI IG Mailing list with the subject line: WCAG Next Possible Models. Background information and more details on how to comment follow.
Earlier in March, a discussion started off at the W3C on what should look like. That initial discussion has actually forked into two related discussion, the differentiator being a question of time.
The first discussion revolves around a big-picture major revision of WCAG. This discussion is looking at what the next generation of accessibility guidance should look like, and it incorporates thoughts around integrating UAAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 into a more integrated approach. This is an exciting idea, and it is envisioned that this will be a 3 to 5 year undertaking (perhaps longer). 
Slightly more pressing however is the fact that there are a number of Task Forces at the W3C that are looking at building ‘extensions’ to WCAG 2.0, to provide additional guidance (including possible new Success Criteria, Understanding and Techniques documents) around topics such as Mobile accessibility, Low Vision concerns, and addressing the needs of those with Cognitive disabilities. Some of this effort is becoming fairly mature, and so the second discussion is around what are we going to do with all of this guidance and content. The content coming from the Task Forces is nearing completion, and it is badly needed today. I think most can agree that we cannot wait another 3 to 5 years for a major “refresh” of WCAG 2.0., and the Working Group has been chartered to create extensions to WCAG 2.0 in this interim period.
The WCAG Working Group are now looking at what then, exactly, will WCAG 2.0 extensions look like?
So far, discussion has surface 4 potential “strawman” possibilities, which can be found at:  <>
We have not ruled out other possible models however, and so there still exists the possibility of yet a 5th, 6th , or more possible strawman proposal(s). Critical to the final decision however is that we also ensure broad public comment and input in an effort to ensure we have the best possible model moving forward.
Which is the purpose of this email. 
If you use, or are impacted by the use of, WCAG 2.0 we want to hear your thoughts. The goal is to gather as much feedback as possible over the next 2 or 3 weeks so that an informed decision can be made. This is your opportunity to contribute to that discussion. Please note that at this time nothing is committed one way or the other, and there exists the possibility that unanimity may never surface, but every effort is being made to ensure that stakeholders have an opportunity to speak up.
If you would like to comment on this activity, please review the possible models already brought forward at  <> 
·       What are the Pros? The Cons? 
·       Do you have any other comments to add? 
·       Do you have a preference? 
·       Do you have another potential model not yet contemplated?  
All of these questions are in scope, and we’re excited to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic.
To ensure we can get as broad a community feedback as possible, we are using the WAI IG Mailing list at  <> w3c-wai-ig@w3.orgwith the Subject Line: WCAG Next Possible Models. This public mailing list is open to all to participate in, once you have signed up to be a member of that list. Information on how to join the WAI-IG mailing list can be found at  <>
Please note that we are also currently looking for a possible means of collecting anonymous feedback as well, and if/when we have that ability we will further advise. 
Our goal is to gather this feedback over the next 2 or 3 weeks, and present out findings to the Working Group with a proposed recommendation on how to move forward. While comments and feedback to the WCAG Working Group are always welcome, we hope to wrap this up fairly quickly, and so if you wish to comment you are urged to do so soon. 
This is an unique opportunity to gather community feedback, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Austin, TX
Deque Systems Inc.
2121 Cooperative Way, Suite 210,  
Herndon, VA 20171-5344
Office: 703-225-0380 
Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion

Received on Monday, 11 April 2016 17:32:57 UTC