Re: Discussion: Accessibility Issues Procedure

With all due respect I would like to point out a fundamental reason why your
arguments do not apply to this situation without even chiding you for
inappropriate characterizations of "genuflecting", "getting your way", etc.
because on the surface that is what the "demands" seem like.

The difference between this set of circumstances and the cited SVG/CSS and
other similar "battles" is that just as the U.S. congress in the preamble to
the ADA and the UN's recent proclamation about disability rights point out
there has been a systematic/official discrimination against people with
disabilities, including really severe stuff like
incarceration/sterilization/euthanasia. Nobody from CSS WG threatens to
institutionalize members of SVG WG but people with disabilities live with
such realities all their lives.

So sometimes tinkering with hard-won gains by members of the Disability
Rights Movement and their allies will obviously cause spirited reaction and
deservedly so. We simply cannot tolerate having our issues treated as mere
technological misunderstanding. This may be unfortunate from your point of
view, but there clearly IS a difference between these disagreements and
those whose turf is threatened, etc.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I strongly disagree with your opening
statement because this is NOT just "...any other issue" - it carries
enormous historical/emotional content beyond mere technological issues. In
short, this "controversy" extends well beyond consultation with "any other
working group" but also an entire body of advocates/activists who will use
filibustering and broadsides to prevent our meager gains from being eroded
by technocrats.


On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 7:51 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <> wrote:

> I propose the full text of this proposal should be deleted and replaced
> with:
> "Decisions on accessibility issues should be made in the same way as any
> other issue before the HTML Working Group, in accordance with our Charter
> and Decision Policy".
> Rationale:
> The proposed policy has several flaws.
> First, the proposed policy suggests to give veto power to the PWFG over
> accessibility issues (the proposed process is that no issue may be
> considered closed until the PFWG is happy, and can be closed as soon as PFWG
> is happy.). While it's W3C practice to consult with and consider the input
> of other Working Groups in related areas, it is also accepted standard
> practice that requests of other Working Groups may be declined. For example,
> I have seen the CSS WG and SVG WG decline each other's requests many times,
> in areas of their respective expertise. Thus, the proposed process is out of
> line with the norms and official Process of the W3C.
> Second, the request to give WAI/PFWG a veto power does not even come from
> WAI itself; instead it is made by an assortment of people, some of whom are
> not WAI members at all. If WAI really wants that kind of power over other
> W3C Working Groups, then I think it should officially make the request
> itself.
> Third, I think the proposal is inappropriate because essentially demands
> that the HTML Working Group should genuflect and kiss the ring. I think
> respect and collegiality with other W3C Working Groups is appropriate, but
> obsequious subservience is not. The HTML WG has the authority to make
> decisions on the documents within its charter, and is not obliged to get the
> approval of external groups.
> Fourth, I think the proposal is in bad faith because its proponents have
> been unable to get their way on certain issues by arguing technical merits
> or by consensus building, so they want to change the rules so they can
> automatically win. I think trying to change the rules so you can get your
> way is inappropriate.
> Fifth, there's no reason accessibility issues can't be handled in the same
> way as any other issue within the purview of the HTML Working Group. Anyone
> can become a member of the HTML WG and be heard the same as anyone else. In
> fact, the signatories of this proposal are all HTML WG members and have been
> among the most vocal.
> Regards,
> Maciej
> On Jul 24, 2009, at 5:59 AM, Laura Carlson wrote:
>  Hello Everyone,
>> As you know a procedure to promote progress with accessibility issues
>> [1] was recently submitted to this HTML working group.
>> We would like to invite everyone's input and suggestions for alternate
>> wordings of the procedure. Please include:
>> 1. The specific text that you are addressing.
>> 2. Proposed verbiage for the change you would like made.
>> 3. The rationale behind your proposed change.
>> Please send your comments to this thread by July 31, 2009. A
>> discussion page for the procedure has also been set up in the Wiki
>> [2].
>> Thank you.
>> Best Regards,
>> Laura
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> --
>> Laura L. Carlson


Received on Saturday, 25 July 2009 08:15:02 UTC