Most of this week's meeting was spent finalizing comments from EO to WCAG-EM Task Force. Among the recommendations are to improve description of the Diagram of Conformance Evaluation Procedure, provide more examples, clarify the rationale for "optional" use of Techniques, some text and gammar corrections, redundancy of the Note in Step 3, and comments on the need to clarify the 3 report formats and explain why a report of work in progress cannot be a conformance report. (Links to specifc topics are found in the Meeting Topics list that follows.
In trying to review the WCAG-WG work currently in progress to create a one page guide to using WCAG Sufficient Techniques, several EO members encountered accessiiblity barriers. The report was read aloud by others and the group agreed that the purpose of the document - to provide guidance to policy makers that current Techniques are NOT required to meet SCs - was not at all clear and came across as a negative statement of the value of the Techniques. EO does not beleive this is the intent of the document and suggests a more positive approach.
Finally EO learned that Bim has created drafts for forms, tables, and images that may be ready to post for review. A more descriptive naming convention is being sought and EO brainstormed on possibilities. Shawn will send a survey to see if it is possible for EO to meet more often while we have this level of timely work to complete.
Shawn:I have done a proposed disposition of comments as a summary, but please still feel free to continue to make comments.
Wayne:say what the point of the diagram is, not what it looks like
<Bim> +1 to Wayne's comment
<Sharron> Sharron +1
Shawn:OK that's good. The next point, under step 1D, is to define and add examples to aid understanding (comment from Denis). Discussion?
Sylvie:We noted that there is a need for examples throughout the document.
Shawn: Support for that?
<Denis> +1 to support adding examples
Shawn: Step 1d Clarify why this is optional.
Shawn:Next comment has to do with clarification of the designation of "optional" for the methodology
Denis:This thought completes my own thoughts about this . There is a real danger that people will just ignore because they don't understand the authority or why it is important.
Shawn:My understanding is that if you are to specify every Technique it would be a huge amount of work and not necessary
Sharron:but that is not the recommendation here
Wayne:I agree that you don't want to specify each and every technique but you do want to specify the ones you use and how they are authoritative and why it generates the outcomes.
Andrew:4d already says: "It is good practice to specify the sets or sources of techniques and failures"
Shadi:The techniques are optional, the focus must be on the SCs not the Techniques. It is important that you specify where and how you are validating conformance to the SCs, that you document what techniques you have used.
Sharron:But is it not fundamentally important to know what technique is being used?
Shadi:In certification context, it will report that it has either met or not met the SC, with no documentation of how that was determined.
Andrew:We may be confusing step 1d with the step 4 process. I agree that it is useful to understand what techniques are used, but it is during the audit itself that the techniques become important.
Shadi:But still not a requirement of WCAG to document techniques.
Sharron:But how do you have confidence in the report with no documentation?
Shadi:It is good practice to give more information that helps you understand, but it is not a requirement. It is the SC that is a requirement. A report may just say pass fail.
Denis:I totally agree with the importance of the SC but what I am trying to make sense of is how can we focus on the need to understand the intent of the SC while also reporting on the use of established Techniques. I think it would be very helpful to show examples of how that might work and to encourage people to validate their use of existing techniques and to add to the techniques when possible.
Shadi:The use of the Techniques can and should be better described, we think the place to do that may be in the Understanding documents and reference them from within the Methodology.
Denis:That makes sense.
Wayne:This is not really about the techniques as much as the roles of people who may be auditing. One group is internal people and some may be external. An important part of any audit, the justification becomes important in many cases. The question of why there is a Pass or Fail state is important, so it is not the reliance on Techniques as much as the explanation of what and why something fails.
Shawn:But Shadi's point is that on huge, perhaps government sites, there may be no reason, no requirement to justify, only to state the status. It is not a requirement in many cases.
Shadi: To summarize, we may need to justify why things are optional. The second would be to emphasize the use of the Techniques or another form of explanation of the Pass/Fail status without making it a requirement - it is not.
<Andrew> "sets or sources of techniques and failures"
Shawn:The only intent of Step 1 d is to say here is what I am using. What would it look like if I were to implement this step?
Shadi:It may be that you choose what set of measures are being used and state them explicitly.
Shawn:What other sets of techniques exist that we know of?...are there other sets of techniques?
<Andrew> for Word - http://adod.idrc.ocad.ca/ from Jutta's team
Shadi:None public, but there are evaluation services that have checks. We have inherited this from WCAG and they are strongly of the opinion that there should be other techniques referenced.
Sylvie:ACCESSIWEb has not developed their own techniques, they use WCAG techniques mostly, the sufficient ones.
Shawn:Besides an internal set, does anyone know of any other techniques publicly available for meeting WCAG SC?
Denis:What about the University of Illinois?...I have heard comments in the community about his guidelines
Shadi:Even if there are not those at this time, they really wanted the Techniques to become decentralized and to have the community contribute in many languages and environments.
Shawn:Because that is the (hoped for) future situation but not the current existing situation, it is confusing.
Shadi:There are several organizations who have their own set of tests, that use an evaluation methodology of thier own.
Shawn: But the difference between evaluation methods and techniques is not made clear in this document....I'll make notes, anything else for now?
Shawn: ...next, under Step 2, explore the target web site...a couple of minor wording suggestions.
Vicki: reads her suggestions...need consistency and I believe there is a missing word.
Shawn: Next is Step 3, representative sample...the Note in section overview.
Andrew: reads the section, summarizes comments from the wiki
Sharron: The Note seems redundant, doesn't add value or understanding.
Andrew: The main point in that note is not to evaluate repetitive sections of pages that may occur with templates, etc.
<Andrew> +1 to removing note - not needed here
<paulschantz> I was on the fence, but now +1
<Denis> +1 to tersify
Shawn: recommendation is to tersify, not put so much text in both (all) places...next is Step 4: Audit the Selected Sample
Denis:Reads his comment
Shawn: So you are restating the first sentence, but making it stronger. Perhaps instead of adding to, we suggest that the existing sentences be made more clear, stronger...in the second case, perhaps just adding the word "optionally" Does that work?
Denis:Yes, I will be satisfied with that
<Andrew> +1 to strengthen
Shawn:Next, record tools and software methods used...comments from Sharron
Wayne:Only it is more important here. It goes back to the earlier point of the need for clarification about when it is good to cite but why it is not a requirement.
Sharron:Agree that it is closely related to the earlier comments
Wayne:And actually it may be situationally required
Shawn: Perhaps that we recommend more clarification about the optional techniques and encouragement of development of new ones?
Shadi: Does EO recommend that we clarify every time it is mentioned, or that we do an overview of the issue and why these optional declarations are made?
Wayne:There are things that are required, is there not a place for something in between...situationally required?
Shawn:Can you imagine trying to define that, though?
Wayne:Yes, I know it would be difficult but there are times where it is even a bit more than a Best Practice to have reasons for the Pass/Fail status.
<Zakim> Andrew, you wanted to mention alternative to glossary explanation
Andrew:As an alternative to having this explanation at the bottom, on the Step 4 where we start the list of Optional steps, can we put the explanation there?
Wayne:I like that. And add something about "...in situations where it is not clear"
Shadi:OK the point is made, and we can take it to the group.
Shawn:Next let's look at Step 5: Report the Evaluation Findings
Shawn:Looks like here there are some easy text and grammar changes. Any objections to grammar change, Step 5b?
Shawn:Step 5b note, not possible to make an evaluation in development. There are suggestions for revision. ...thoughts?
Denis: What I dislike is our assuming the right to say that you cannot do something. What is the point of saying it does not apply? That does not really convey the idea that they should wait to the end.
Sharron:Testing along the way is useful, and we want to encourage that, but it is not able to validate conformance of the final product
Andrew:A suggestion of something like this: An accessibility evaluation statement should not be made for a website that is still in development - this should be reserved until the site is completed.
Annabelle:"Not possible" is too strong. It is possible, of course it is just wrong.
Sharron:Need to say we encourage checking along the way, it is a different thing - not a conformance evaluation, but something else.
Shawn:Instead of negative comment at the end, make a more positive one at the beginning.
<Denis>Shawn for president!
Wayne:suggested - not possible to make a final accessibility statement for an incomplete website
<Bim> +1 to positive initial statement
Shawn:...Denis, please submit more technical comments to the WCAG-EM WG as an individual, it is ourside EO scope.
Denis:Yes, I am OK with that
Sharron:And have we submitted the comment that the three levels of reports are are not distinctly described and may even be contradictory in the various places they are referenced?
Shawn:Yes, we decided that last week. Also, we have gotten positive indications that people use the EasyChecks and generally like them.
Shawn:summary of issues: WCAG Techniques issues - reactions to Use of WCAG Techniques and Failures
Shawn:WCAG-WG has been considering how to address the wide perception that the Techniques are the defining documents rather than the SCs. So we are looking at revising and updating Techniques. Have developed a page to address this.
<Andrew> page at: http://tinyurl.com/WCAGTechNote
Shawn:I wanted to introduce this to our group and specifically to encourage us to submit ideas to their page.
Shawn:Proper use of WCAG 2.0 Techniques and Failures <http://tinyurl.com/WCAGTechNote>
Wayne:Oh my goodness, what a difficult thing to read.
Sharron:I'm with you Wayne
[tanget on inaccessibility of the doc]
Sylvie:I don't understand how to read this. I see the page title but don't know how to read it.
Shawn:You need to log in.
Sylvie:But there is no way, I see only the title of the doc, no guidance to get to it.
Bim:I could not get anything at all the first time I encountered it, and I am still working on access.
[back to content]
Shawn:Apologies, I will summarize for now and make sure an accessible version is provided next time...so let's focus for now on the content, and I will provide another version next time. For those of you who can read it, imagine it is a standalone document, or plugged into the techniques document. What are your reactions?
[Andrew reads top part of content.]
Andrew:The color is to highlight for other reviewers, it is for internal use and would not be part of the final document.They have three points, 1. 'WCAG 2.0 Sufficient Techniques' are not the only sufficient techniques and [ are not recommended - or should never be required ] as the only acceptable solutions. 2. 'WCAG 2.0 Advisory Techniques' should always be considered. 3. 'WCAG 2.0 Failures' are designed to always indicate a failure.[reads from document]
Sharron:To say that techniques "are not recommended" seems a pretty unecessarily strong disclaimer!
Shawn:What about the overall approach and wording?
Denis:I like the idea to make the point that these are not the only techniques and should not be required...and it is especially timely now, because of the fact of our community having discussions and disagreements that the Techniques are not the be all and end all.
<Andrew> +1 to Denis' point
<Sharron> +1 to denis
Shawn:And does this document make that point sufficiently?
Sharron:But aren't they going to far the other way? Seems to be undermining the WCAG techniques.We risk really confusing people. I guess finally I don't understand the need for the language to be so strong of a disavowal.
...Can't we say this more positively... that there may be other ways "To Meet" and to encourage others to share with the greater community? or that they are not meant to be exclusively recommended with an emphasis on exclusive?
Shawn:What about the text that Andrew read?
Sharron: I am still confused by the intent.
Andrew:I agree that it is circular and repetitive. Without clarification, it is confusing
Wayne:The truth is that if the Techniques were included correctly, the term Sufficient Techniques is precise. if your site met Sufficient Techniques all the way through, you would have a proof of conformance.
...and if you remove the "sufficiency," it introduces doubt about whether it is indeed sufficient. Because, in reality, the SCs are a theorum and the Techniques are the method of proof.
Shadi:I agree that the language is too negative and that the Techniques are a good body of knowledge that should be used.
Andrew:all they need to say that there may be additional 'sufficient techniques' for any SC. The problem is that the methods of proof are changing, and new technologies and methods must be allowed to be introduced.
<Sharron> +1 to Andrew
<Bim> +1 to Andrew, especially in cases of emerging technologies used.
Shadi:Yes, there is a tension here that must be resolved.
Shawn:You have stated the reasons why to us today, but those reasons are not within this document
...the group should know that part of the motivation is that some people who are making policy are now requiring specific Techniques. That is in contradiction to how the Techniques were designed to be used.
...they should not be required because there are not enough of them for all cases and technology changes
Andrew:They are also confusing what they are trying to say by introducing the failure techniques into this document
Shawn:Shadi, what do you think is inadquately described about the failures?
Shadi:There is nowhere in the WCAG documentation so far of a really good description of what Failures are. They are not well described about how they work and relate to the SC. In WCAG-EM we would have liked to point to them, but could not. Many of the Techniques are described from an authors perspective rather than the evaluators.
Shawn:Questions for EO: Do you feel it is important for EO to help frame how this issue is addressed in the WCAG document and any other related documents?
Shadi:One of the arguments was that if we want to lead policy makers to understand that WCAG2 Techniques are not the only way to demonstrate conformance, they have trouble with current materials. WCAG-WG wanted to have a one-page stand alone document for that specific use case.
Wayne:Techniques are a good set of methods to be used in operational procedures, but not in policy statements.
Shadi:Actually. this document tried to address two different use cases
<shawn> 1. policy, 2. developers
Wayne:One of the things to consider is the difference between policy making and operational documents. Techniques are just not at all good for policy.
Andrew:What is their timeline for final revisions?
Shawn:It came up with the WCAG-EM publication and during the CSUN F2F. The techniques and Understanding docs are in the process of being revised and updated. The WG want to have it reveiwed and published. It seems to me that this issue should be resolved before those are published. That is affecting the timliness
Denis:As someone who wrote standards for government using just this method, I would not do it the same today. The problem with only looking at the SCs is that they are open to interpretation. How do we address the issue of broad interpretation and variance between how they are applied?
Shadi:I don't actually agree that there are so many ways to interpret.
Denis:When I am training people, I will put a particular SC on the board and ask around the question - what does this mean? Often get as many answers as people in the room. People understand things differently.Some Scs are partially comprehended, some are completely misunderstood. The techniques demonstrate a concrete application that contributes to understanding.
Andrew:'demonstrate' is ok - 'to require' is not ok
<Sharron> Shawn: Can people stay any longer today?
<Andrew> yes - just 15 mins
<Suzette2> need to go now - catch up next week, Suzette
Shawn:If we were to have a F2F in Austin in mid-May who could attend?
<paulschantz> Highly unlikely to get travel approved, state of CA is fussy
<Wayne> Why not Andrew?
Shawn:In the past, EO has met twice a week in situations like this with many timely things in the work flow. I will send out a survey for possible additional meeting times. Strong reactions?
<paulschantz> I can do 2x a week if it's not a permanent thing :-)
<Sharron> Sharron: OK with me, will try
Denis: Will try
Paul: As long as not permanent
Andrew:struggle with the time slot
<Bim> OK by me
Shawn:Bim has been working on the Application Notes and have draft content for Forms, Tables, Images. We wanted to bring to the group and get feedback on what to call them.
<Andrew> accessibility "how to's"
Shawn:.Application Notes, Tutorials, want to get them posted to the final URI so need a name
Denis:Not Application Notes, I would not understand it to be a tutorial at all
Shawn:It's not really quite a tutorial either.
Andrew:It is an instruction set for how to do something, not a teaching course
<shadi> [[how to's]]
Sharron:Agreed. Tutorial would have more formal measurement of learning, such as a pre and post test, for just one example.
Denis:What about a Guide?
Sylvie: I had the same thought
<Andrew> accessibility implementation guide
Shawn:All is up for discussion, but is fairly well set in this direction.
Wayne:Are they specific examples, are the scenarios in place?
Shawn:Not scenarios as much as situations. ..like how do I make my tables accessible?
<Andrew> sample implementations
<Denis> How-To guide?
Wayne:Then it is a HowTo document?
<shawn> [[How to Guide]]
<shadi> [[quick guide]]
Sylvie:Why is Implementation Guide too formal?
<Andrew> accessibility how to
Shadi:I think the word implementation is leaning to big technical words rather than the easily accessible
<shadi> [[best practices]]
<shawn> Accessibility Best Practices (brainstorm people moaned about ;-)
<Andrew> [[... in practice]]
<shadi> [[forms in practice .... in practice]]
Sylvie:Forms in Practice, Tables in Practice
Shadi:Do we need accessiiblity at the front, do we want to just make it the defacto standard?
<Andrew> SEO needs 'accessibility' i suspect
<shadi> ...it has it all over the content?
Wayne:I use the description of John Slatin's book in my class, just how to make good tables - period.
<Denis> @shadi - out of our context, I think it would be relevant to make sure the Accessiiblity word is in there
<shadi> [[tips for making tables]]
<shadi> [[quick guide]]
<Andrew> [[quick guide for ...]]
<Denis> tips and tricks, accessible table
<Denis> how to create accessible tables, etc.
<Sylvie> Practical guide to make accessible tables?
<shadi> [[dummy's guide to accessibility]]
<Bim> Tables ... the right way
<shawn> creating accessible X
<Andrew> [[creating ... ]]
Shawn: OK thanks everyone, we're out of time, I appreciate staying late, more next time.