- DRAFT - EOWG Minutes 03 Jun 2011


  1. Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility revision


Char, Shawn, Sharron, Wayne, Judy, Denis, Jennifer, Emanuelle, Vicki, Andrew, KarlGroves, IanPouncey, Liam_McGee, Cliff, Alan(firstpart)
Sandi, Sylvie, Jason, Shadi


<shawn> Scribe: Sharron

<shawn> ScribeNick: Sharron

<scribe> Scribe: Sharron

Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility

Judy: There is an updated draft of the document and I am interested in your thoughts. It has changed a fair amount. The brief abstract is kind of a placeholdre. The EXec Summary is shoter and I hope more focused.
... Do people feel that it provides a better lead in? An emprty section will be the high level what is accessibility, etc.
... Section on concerns which I have tried to structure to be skimmable. Finally there is a Moving Forward section, still vert much in draft. The point is to lead people through practical steps for harmonization.
... to harmonize with international standards
... there is a particular question about tone that is relevant to this resource that I would like to explore
... so what are people's general reactions?

Denis: I am in an awkward position since we just came from a three year process of writing our own standards in Quebec.
... while I completely agree with the document and advocated for WCAG2 in my government. But within the government they felt there were too many ways to implement. For example, we asked people about 1.3.1 experts interpreted it differently.
... This made the government decide to develop more precise implementation instructions. This is why we implemented our own standards. There are so many techniques, people are lazy, don't want to read all this and so made there own more specific rules.

<Vicki> Sorry, I am in Montreux and on a poor wi-fi connection.

Judy: This is helpful. I have seen similar course taken in other countries. Perhaps we should emphasize techniques, make people aware of the resources, flexibility and what they mean. Emphasize that becoming so granular will increase the chances that your guidelines will become outdated sooner.

Denis: Yes, I agree. I am torn between what is required by local attitudes and my own opinion that agrees with harmonization.

<AndrewA> zakim aabb is Andrew

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to say can adopt WCAG 2 as is, then have your own "implmentation _techniques/checkpoints/..._"

Shawn: Perhaps emphasize WCAG2 as is - "WCAG2 is our standard" but then recognize that countries can provide more detail about implementation technique.

Judy: It is there, I will try to draw that out more.

<Vicki> 61#

Denis: Another thing is that people feel that nothing is good enough unless they do it themselves. If we could have had a document that presented the SCs and all in one place, it could be more useful. Once I began showing all the different documents, they thought it was too much to read and understand, we might as well do it ourselves.

<Vicki> mute me

<Vicki> txs, slh

<Vicki> ;)

Judy: So not only should we emphasize supporting docs in this piece, WAI should continue to help people find and use.

Wayne: We ran into both situations almost identically. It was hard for people, even those with training to read WCAG2. They also found it necessary to modify for academic use so that they weren't clobbering academic freedom.
... for example simple language.

Judy: But when they looked at it more carefully did they still feel the same?

Wayne: Academics did not feel safe.

Judy: What was the outcome?

Wayne: We concluded that you must be able to use language appropriate to your field.

Judy: Is that not in the guideline as written?

Wayne: Not clearly enough for academics

Judy: So to make the harmonization document most useful, perhaps we should include examples and demonstrate how to address them.

Wayne: That would be very useful.

<sinarmaya> agree!

Judy: May not make it into this document, but going forward we might be able to have a workshop or something to make that more clear.
... What are overall reactions?

Cliff: I find it relevant, helpful, on target. The main problem I see with it is rooted in the concept of primacy. Nations, states, cities, don't find it a matter of good policy to turn over to outside agents the ability to write law.

<dboudreau> @cliff - you nailed it for us here in Quebec. This is exactly it. I've heard such comments from the government people I work for

Cliff: That is the monster lurking in the shadows.

<IanPouncey> Sorry I'm late

Judy: I have a thought on that. As I go back and forth with the editor I see the problem of "global standards" that includes that issue and raises the notion of globalization. But the very real angle is the practical aspect of the fact that "Look we can make your job easier, there is international participation, there are constructive reasons to do this." Thinking about Human Rights conventions
... there is the acceptance of some kinds of governing tenents that help people join an international consensus.

Cliff: As soon as you mention globalization...

Judy: No I do NOT want to go down that road.

Cliff: Yes your approach would appeal to reasonable people.
... the standards to look for, the parallels to look at national and international standards for health. It's not something that was reached by treaty, but rather a consensus driven best practice among experts.

<AndrewA> Australia has its DDA as law, then adopted WCAG as a policy to support the DDA as best practice for online accessibility

Judy: This is the overarching concern - how to position it properly so that we are not shoving rules at people but offering a resource that will help governments and organziations. Since we are close to taking this through an ISO specification process, it would receive a different type of international status.
... any other quick overall reaction?

Jennifer: Thinking about ISO I wonder even if we can't talk about that specifically in this document, is there some ISO document that can instruct us on how to position this?
... sent email about 10 minutes before call shall we discuss?

<shawn> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-eo/2011AprJun/0077.html

<shawn> e-mail from Jennifer ^^^

Judy: The ISO angle I will research whether they have soemthing like that. Part of their argument may be having standards go through their process, which is different from ours. Thiers is a country-based process.
... we must be careful about our claims.

Jennifer: In any case, I am pleased that is being considered, it will add very strongly to the credibility.

Judy: I am having trouble skimming your comments quickly so please feel free to raise them in the discussion.

Wayne: I think we should have a frank appendix or something where we identify known holes - disabilities that are not covered well enough. If this takes the force of law, those disability areas will have less standing than they did before.

Jennifer: But if we put that in this document, it will shoot a big hole through the entire arguement.

Wayne: I don't agree, if it is done correctly.

<dboudreau> kk

Judy: There is a very practical way that your point intersects with the document. It may be best as we walk through it. There is a section where we discuss the different types of fragmentation that occur. it is a very mixed issue. You have people who change words that alter the meaning, who combine things, who add. Sometimes the adding is to broaden the cross-disability scope.

<shawn> +1 to added provisions

Judy: The strategy of adding an appendix is worth considering, especially looking at possibility of looking at adding.

Wayne: Good, becasue otherwise it will be done by the courts.

Judy: One possibility or the other is that another provision is valid if it is not covered.

Denis: In Quebec it is about to attain force of law. It will take presedence over other standards, including WCAG2.
... as far as adopting standards that add, it will depend on the understanding of those who write it.
... if the analysis and the rewriting is done well it can actually be useful. One of the things in the document that I am not in agreement with is the assumtion that the W3C is the only body that can write a good standard.
... we were talking about different tools that people use to sue. One of the documents I received as a result of questioning the process was a legal approach that was more than 30 years old. people here do not fell threatened.

Judy: It is an interesting point to be careful about implying that only the W3C can write a good standard. There are two reasons why that is not in fact the W3C attitude. I has clearly become more difficult to do it well. But we continue to be committed to making ti so.
... blog post of a couple of days ago directly deals with that. And the other thing is that we would not to say that other groups could NOT develop good standrds, but rather to emphasize the advantages to working in coordination with this very broad effort.
... over the years W3C has incorporated, considered, integrated other standards as these are evolving. Divergence from the W3C consensus built have introduced unintended errors and in some cases had the opposite effect of what was intended.

Wayne: I think we really want to consider the public/private issue. Public entitites are the ones to give it force, but the guidelines were written by a private organization.

Judy: Are you saying that this is a multi-stakeholder effort that occurs within an industry organziation and does NOT have policy making authority? If so, it supports the idea of offering rather than imposing.
... I try not to think of it from a US flter. But at this time in the US the intersection between the public and policy is defined by the urging for public policy to be based on industry standards. Are there similar mechanisms in other countries?
... So if we begin by looking at the doc, the Abstract is a placeholder, let's skip it and consider the Exec Summary.

<shawn> sharron: if goal is to have it be an offering. then the second senentece " can hinder progress" is like shaking your finger.

<AndrewA> +1 to sharron re 2nd sentence in Exec Summary - needs to be encouraging rather than admonishing

<dboudreau> i'd much rather see "slow progress" than "hinder progress" personally

<shawn> sharron: 3rd sentence does that "By harmonizing national and local policies with international Web accessibility standards, it is possible to accelerate the progress of Web accessibility."

Judy: Most truth lies in describing the impact of harmonization as an acceleration. So we want to emphasize that.

<sinarmaya> In Spainall the public policy must be basedon industry standards. And this is why we must create our own standard for accessibility. Because a law must mention an AENOR or ISO standard, but can't mention a w3c specification.

<sinarmaya> s/ Spainall Spain all

Judy: steady state of accomplishing web accessibility by applying guidelines piece by piece is so slow. The trajectory of accessibility improvement from optimized, harmonized standards is lost with fragmentation.

<dboudreau> Suggests to change "This process can hinder progress toward the goal of broad Web accessibility." to "This process can _slow_ progress toward the goal of broad Web accessibility."

Wayne: In the first sentence, we might emphasize that all governments must develop laws and could make the point that they could use existing standards to take the step to law.

<AndrewA> good point

Judy: So you are saying that we can acknowledge the legitimate role of government to transfer into law.

Vicki: First sentence is not strong enough. In the introduction, we have a sentence that makes the point of how important that is, so it may be made sooner.

Judy: are you saying to cluster the bullets?

Vicki: It's a possibility. Some of the fragmentation points are covered again elsewhere. The Exec Summary should be more pertinent and leave the detail for later.
... have it targeted to the problem of fragmentation.

Judy: Audiences are likely to include different groups - accessibility proponents and primarily policy makers who may have no familiarity with web accessibility. This group may need some succinct points in fromt of them.
... Perhaps we need some basic information here, but will consider organizing it more crisply. Working with this group, we know there needs to be some information. How could it be more usefully shaped?

Vicki: Combine first two bullets and combine fragmentation points so that you don't have such a long list. Fewer, more pertinent bullet points.

<dboudreau> +1 to Vicky's comments

<AndrewA> zakim ipcaller is Char

Ian: An Exec Summary is most often used as the selling point. Should work on its own.

Judy: Given that, what do you specifcally think needs to change?

<shawn> +1 to strengthing the selling points

Ian: I will think about the ordering, it may need some work. Perhaps needs to sell the benefits more. Easier task, work being done for you, etc Bring last two points, that emphasize benefits higher up in the order.

Judy: Yes I think your suggestions are in line with the notion that we want to "offer, not shove"

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to say agree with Ian to strength the direct benefits to the primary audience (rather than the expound on the general idea of harmonization & fragmentation)

<AndrewA> go ahead

<Zakim> AndrewA, you wanted to mention some of the the intro stuff to give policy makers perspective up front in summary

Shawn: Agree that we need to strengthen the benefits to the primary audience of adopting harmonized standards.

Andrew: Picking up on something that has been said, there is not enough here about why they might want to write a disability policy. A bit of context in there would be good.

Judy: Not sufficiently motivating?

<AndrewA> yes - that would help

Shawn: One idea is to link from the Exec Summary
... that might help relive the pressure to put too much in the ES

Judy: There are two ways to address that. One way would be with links (requiring reorg of the ES) and another way is to briefly indcate at the beginning of the intro paragraph.
... looking further down in the section, in trying to describe the diminshment of the pace of progress, the loss of acceleration, how is it working?
... not comfortable with "believing" part. Missing the acknowledgment of the proper role of government. Suggestions for phrasing

Denis: No suggestion right now, will keep thinking about it. But very uncomfortable with the phrsing.

Judy: Want to make the point that there is loss of acceleration.
... I think what is happening in the third bullet is to lay fragmentation next to harmonization and tie them together. Serving a role in the argument flow and introducing points that don't work. I'll look back at this one and see if I can improve argument flow and omit the "diminishing" phrasing

<shawn> sharron: personally i really dont like nested bullets (Char agrees)

<sinarmaya> I think the document does not express clearly what is expected by the standards bodies and policy makers.

<sinarmaya> If the idea you want to convey is: Please do not duplicate efforts. The guidelines have been created with contributions from people around the world and therefore take into account the needs of the population of their country. Instead of creating a new Standard amending the text of the WCAG (or any other guidelines), create one that simply makes reference to the W3C document. Thus, we achieve international harmonization.

Judy: Vicki said it may make sense to cluster them. Have considered nested bullets

Sharron: Don't like them, especially in an Exec Summary.

Shawn: reads Emanuelle's IRC comments

<sinarmaya> nothing :)

Judy: Well said, thank you. We don't anywhere right now particularly convey the concept of "consider benefits of not duplicating efforts"
... additional comments on fragmentation? or two points on harmonization?

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to note that we do that in the business case pages e.g., http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/soc.html#custom

Judy: then there is a concluding point and finally the what comes next. may not be useful there.

Shawn: On Biz case, we have pointers to info that is contained within doc. May or may not want to use it, but just to let you know that's one way to approach.

Jennifer: Are those statistics in the introduction? Can we include a source citation, even a text note?

Judy: Yes, we have it although not in the notes yet, but will include. Some of the stats are up to date - like the ones about how many use the web. But the disability stats are at least 15 years old. It is easily a billion people but have not seen current stats.

Jennifer: People are always looking for these stats, but I don't trust disability stats, they set off my alarm bells.

<dboudreau> http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/facts.shtml Around 10 per cent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. They are the world’s largest minority. - From the UN Convention of Rights of ppl w/disabilities

Judy: And different countries report them so differently.

Jennifer: Could we link or footnote the reference to the UN Convention on Human Rights?

Judy: Yes, no links to citations yet, but they are on my mind.

Jennifer: There is no mention of the mobile web and is very important in developing countires. Is it out of scope?

Judy: No, it is very much in scope and I will consider.

<Vicki> sorry :(

<AndrewA> curious that zakim didn't hear the backround noise

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to say about stats and to also say http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/soc.html#stats

Judy: I know that statistics are part of what must be included. if we take the perspective that we must have some stats, what should they be? I know they are not ideal and in some cases not reliable, but people expect to see data. What can we do?

Shawn: What we did in the slides, we do use the 57% from Forrester/Microsoft study. I am very torn becasue I know people want stats but have often seen them fall completely flat.
... there are other issues in this paragraph.

<Zakim> Liam, you wanted to ask about 10% of world's pop of disabilities and wow stat

Liam: One point is that one single wow! statistic. If a number of stats are used and one can be questioned, it weakens all of them.
... The sentence about 10% of people with disabilities may not be able to use the web, it seems like progress.

Jennifer: Not sure we can get away without using statisitics at all, but my concern is that there be a reference, it is clear, and readers can find exactly where it came from and not be debatable.

Judy: Second paragraph in intro? Comments about the length, the number of things going on in it.

Liam: Starts passive voice from active voice.

Shawn: Doesn't sing.

Liam: Can we make statements stronger? instead of "recognized as the leading..." can we say "is the leading..."

Judy: we are hoping eventually it will be indisputable

Wayne: Passive voice is really an issue. Turn this around to be stronger, to be more tied to direct statements.

Denis: I am OK except for "when governments adopt, it slows..."

Judy: This is a place from my perspective is as close to what we really want to say as it is possible to be.

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to slow -> complicates

Denis: Would not take much change, only to "..MAY change"

Shawn: Weasle words. What about "complicates"

<judy> [judy: "slows the potential progress" vs "can slow the progress"]

Denis: For 10 years, I have worked in this filed. The recent adoption in Quebec has actually helped. people are adopting, using, improving.
... I am comfortable with "may" or "potential"

Judy: I am hearing that from your persepctive as long as there is "can" or "potential" included, you are OK?

<Zakim> Liam, you wanted to suggest can slow the growth

<AndrewA> so, "slows the potential growth" > "potentially slows the growth" ?

Liam: I agree. I would include "can slow" and remove "potential" it is simpler.

<Vicki> "may slow" or "can slow"

Liam: could also break for a new paragraph there.

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to ask if the fine point is not the issue and to also say small environemtn versus big picture

Judy: I will take this under advisement. I would like to use one phrase consistently. it may be we need one paragraph where we get into depth and directly explore the concepts fo fragmentation and acceleration.

Shawn: One point - what Denis said about his microcosm is that having their own guidelines was useful. But balenaced against the bigger picture, it is very interesting.
... if we step back, is that a significant point? is it strong enough to change our approach?

Judy: My experince in dealing with many governments show that the acceleration curve is extremely important. The arguement must be made respectfully but clearly.
... if people look ahead at the next section of the document, under current concerns there is a complicated reality that is not reflected in this version of the draft. "The local technology industry..." the local industrymay recieve inital benefit.
... they get an opportunity to develop specialized products. have a built-in audience. So this needs to be stated carefully and making the argument that immediate short term local effect vs global market and long term benefit.

Denis: I would tend to agree with that.

Judy: Looking at the time, are there quick pointed comments that I can take action on or to highlight for work this week?
... fragmentation section? harmnization section? are these the right points to begin with?

Denis: I would prefer to wait for next version to comment.

Liam: Final point in Harmonization section says ...

Judy: Oh yes! edit needed, will do
... or maybe you're making different point.

Liam: it seems like an afterthought.

Judy: Thanks for your comments, everyone. We'll see what it looks like the next round.

Shawn: This is on fast track, we will discuss each meeting until it is done.

<Vicki> Thanks, bye

<Vicki> -Vicki

Summary of Action Items

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Default Present: Shawn, Char, alan, Vicki, Sharron, Wayne, Cliff, Judy, dboudreau, Jennifer, +1.561.158.aaaa, Emanuelle, +61.4.473.8.aabb, Andrew, KarlGroves, IanPouncey, Liam_McGee
Present: Char Shawn Sharron Wayne Judy Denis Jennifer Emanuelle Vicki Andrew KarlGroves IanPouncey Liam_McGee Cliff Alan(firstpart)

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Regrets: Sandi Sylvie Jason Shadi
Got date from IRC log name: 03 Jun 2011
Guessing minutes URL: http://www.w3.org/2011/06/03-eo-minutes.html
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