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EOWG 3 February 2006


Wayne Dick, George Heake, Jack Welsh, Shadi Abou-Zahra, Judy Brewer, Harvey Bingham, William Loughborough, Pasquale Popolizio, Shawn Henry, Andrew Arch, Justin Thorp, Helle Bjarno, Alan Chuter, Liam McGee
Barry McMullin, Roberto Castaldo
Judy Brewer
Jack Welsh



<shawn> Did you see question on the list about University policies?

Outreach updates

<Andrew> Vision Australia ran the first of its regular series of Web Accessibility Workshops [1] this week in Melbourne with 20 participants and we are already booked out for two workshops in Canberra in two weeks time. Web Accessibility seems to be increasingly on developers radar here which is great.

We have also been asked to speak to some key groups about Web Accessibility - yesterday Sofia Celic spoke to a group of Ombudsman's communication officers, and next week I am speaking to a forum of the public libraries online database group [2].

[1] http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/ais/workshops/
[2] http://www.libraries.vic.gov.au/gulliver/about.htm

Helle: Went to BPA workshop in Brussells that used the EOWG business case document as a reference.

Shadi: Status of the Before/After Demo. Needs testers. Any volunteers?

William: I will test it.

George: I'll test it.

Wayne: I'll test for large print.

Alan: I'll test.

George: I'll ask David Poehlman to test for MAC's.

Judy: Get reservation at hotel if you are going to face-to-face and Tech Plenary.

Tools List

Judy: Reviews the current draft and notes discussion that has occurred.

Shadi: Discussion about checkboxes and drop down boxes. There has also been discussion about terminology.

<shadi> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/eval/tools/simple

<shadi> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/eval/tools/simple-slh

Shadi: Let's start with a discussion about simple search and with check boxes.

Wayne: I prefer check boxes

Havey: So do I

Andrew: I prefer the drop down

Helle: With checkboxes you have a view of all choices and you can choose more than one. Can you choose more than one with drop down boxes?

<shawn> Andrew: with drop-downs, cannot do multi select w/o mouse

Shadi: Do we want the expanded view or the compacted view?

Helle: Prefer expanded view

William Prefer expanded view

Shawn: May be able to reduce the visual complexity by putting everything in a gray background.

Wayne: Non-linearized form seems somewhat cluttered, but still prefer check boxes

Shawn: How many people need to scroll?

Helle: I do

Andrew: I do

Judy: Should we change order to reduce visual complexity?

Shawn: Discusses some implications of changing order.

Shawn: Here are a few bits I found online about checkboxes vs. drop-downs.
DISCLAIMER: I picked these up quickly during the call, so they are not vetted nor are they a complete list.

"If possible, use radio buttons rather than drop-down menus. Radio buttons are better because they make all options permanently visible so that users can easily consider them. Radio buttons are also easier to operate for users who have difficulty making precise mouse movements. (Limited space might sometimes force you to violate this guideline, but do try to keep choices visible whenever possible.)" - http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040927.html

"If the field allows for multiple selections, try your best to avoid using the so-called �multi-select� box. This form element is at best confusing to users and at worst, it makes the form useless to those who do not immediately understand its functionality." - http://www.alistapart.com/articles/sensibleforms

"- When users are unfamiliar with the items in a list, radio buttons can assist them by communicating the domain at a glance
- On forms that will be used frequently, radio buttons are far easier and faster because they don't have to be opened and are easier to take in a glance" - http://www.guuui.com/browse.php?cid=146

There are a bunch more...

Shadi: The preference seems to be check boxes. Issue seems to be one of the visual lay out. The issue of visual layout will be worked off line.

<Harvey> Do the languages need to include text in those languages?

Shadi: Let change to the issue of language

Liam: Cookie so that it defaults to the person's language

Shawn: May want to put on list of future options

Judy: Is the languages of the tool interface or the language to be tested?

Shadi: Language of the tool

<shawn> ACTION, shawn: eval tools: share ideas for simplifying visual presentation of "simple checkbox" version -- boxes equal length, gray box around each. Also, look at putting search button at the top somehow.

Helle: Refers to to comment she sent earlier about the simple search and this list

Judy: Best on discussion, let's use 'language of the tool'

<shawn> ACTION, shawn/shadi: eval tools: limit width of fieldset boxes to longest item, and have next one start just to the right. (will especially help w/ screen magnification)

Shadi: Let's discuss web technologies? Concerns?

Judy: Will new users know to be able to select from the list?

Andrew: Since we are doing a simple search, let's combine some options such as HTML or XHTML.

Wayne: Add an 'all' or 'don't know' option

Jack: Have an 'all' option that is the default and have it checked.

Judy: Are these the choices we want to give people for the simple search? What are the 2 or 3 questions we should give people?

Shawn: What things can I select that are meaningful to me and will help filter the list?

Judy: Suggests 'guidelines' and 'functionality' as the 2 categories that should be used for the simple search.

Helle: What does accessible mean? Does that mean  that the tool itself is accessible?

Shawn:  If want to use 'functionality', I think must have explanation at end.

Shadi: Votes for language and guidelines

Shawn: I want to raise a concern about whether guidelines should be a category. Will it raise the issue of multiple sets of guidelines rather than viewing W3C guidelines as normative?

Wayne: Sometimes people will be coming into the issue of filling accessibility issues and wanting a tool because of a specific legal requirements such as 508 or national requirement.

Judy: Propose that we go ahead with the simple search page with just languages and functionality and re-doing format
... Let's talk about the advance search

Andrew: Labels. should be short and clear

Judy: What are constraints for labels?

Shawn: Is fieldset common as label for group of checkboxes? Or, just use a text label?

Wayne: Do we need a paragraph or sentence that describes what the category is searching on?

Shawn: Provide a short phrase, rather than trying to make label short & clear

Judy: What if we broke the list into two sections. Tool characteristics and tool testing?

Justin: There are several ways that the list could be grouped.

Wayne: Should we leave it to the task force to figure out the grouping categories?

Judy: Since we want to reach closure with this we should probably specify the categories. What is the reaction on Shawn's idea of having a short name and a sentence explanation as needed?

Shawn: you wanted to ask about linking the fieldset label to a description in Selecting Tools

Shadi: the details of what you see is not a complete list
... Explains more about platforms and what that means per discussion with Wayne and Justin


Judy: Update and request from Wayne about Accessibility Policy for CSU Long Beach

Prior to the meeting Wayne sent the following to the list:

Wayne's email: The committee I Chair is writing the Accessibility Policy for CSU Long Beach right now. Do any of you know of any university accessibility policies that are especially good. This Campus IT Committee will be developing policies and operational procedures for security and accessibility. In general we will monitor all human factors issues as we tighten security, but we will make sure that we don't break and even improve accessibility as we do it. I will appreciate any pointers to preexisting policy.

Andrew: Hi Wayne, I can't guarantee that any of the Australian Universities have "good"
policies, but you may care to peruse and learn from them - see http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/info.aspx?page=639#uni

Justin:Hi Wayne,At Michigan State University, we have a Statement of Encouragement for Web Accessibility.

Pasquale: Hi Wayne, Bologna University has a Accessibility Policy for its Web site http://www.unibo.it/Portale/Strumenti+del+Portale/Accessibilita/
default.htm   If you want I can translate it into English ;-)

Charmane Corcoran: We are in process of updating our Web Accessibility Statement of Encouragement. There appears to be a fundamental shift in logic behind the development of Higher Ed Accessibility statements that I can share offline, if you are interested. I am currently MSU's representative on the CIC Accessibility Group which includes all of the Big 10 schools. I am slated to present on the topic at the next meeting. Until our revised Statement is made public, I cannot comment specifically on the list. However, I can give you a heads up on the issues we are working on if you want to give me a call.

During the meeting there was additional discussion:

George: They are in the process of creating one.

Wayne: The key issue seems to be how to deal with on-line course materials

Template for Accessibility Evaluation Reports

Judy: Background and scope.
... Purpose was to provide a consistent framework for reporting evaluation results
... The audience included expert evaluators to be consistent with their peers and novice evaluators who needed to have a form or standard  of what to should included

Shawn: Concerned about whether it meets a broad need.
... How should the scope be changed to make it more useful?

Judy: Think about this page and be prepared to discuss next week. What needs to be changed? How? How can it be improved?

<shawn> ACTION, Judy: find materials from Report Template previous discussions, esp. ideas for future

Summary of Action Items

ACTION, shawn: eval tools: share ideas for simplifying visual presentation of "simple checkbox" version -- boxes equal length, gray box around each. Also, look at putting search button at the top somehow.

ACTION, shawn/shadi: eval tools: limit width of fieldset boxes to longest item, and have next one start just to the right. (will especially help w/ screen magnification)

ACTION, Judy: find materials from Report Template previous discussions, esp. ideas for future

[End of minutes]