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Letter about Easy Checks
On 10/10/2013 3:36 PM, Sharron Rush wrote:
remember to CC wai-eo-editors
Thanks very much for your comments about the Easy Checks document developed by the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group. Several of us have reviewed your comments and greatly appreciate your perspective. I am writing to request
a clarification of a few points and to be sure we are referencing the most current draft (not some of the earlier working documents). I am looking now at the version here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/preliminary. and have a few questions to be sure I understand. For example, you say:
[We have a few questions for you:]
- The document is intended to help assess the accessibility of a web page. However it uses concepts which a non-expert will not be familiar with.
We made a concerted effort to use plain language and to explain any concepts that might be unfamiliar to non-technical readers. In addition to the explanations throughout the document, there is the Background section at <http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/preliminary#background>Could you expand a bit on this observation to let us know which concepts are unfamiliar and/or were not adequately explained for non-expert readers?
- I suggest encouraging the use of automated checkers, which give the user a quick automated check...
We do recommend the WAVE, and will appreciate and seriously consider the inclusion of information or links to additional automated checkers that you would have us reference.
Generally we find that the results of automated checkers are too overwhelming and complex for non-experts. We would be interested in other experiences where the results of specific automated checkers were useful for non-experts — outside of a training or consulting environment, as this document is intended to be stand-alone.
- ...explain how to do additional manual checks ...
I am confused by this suggestion since the document is, in fact, a series of explanations of how to do additional manual checks. Is that purpose unclear in the organization of the document
or and what specific changes might you suggest we implement to improve the usefulness of the document?
- and provide links to detailed information.
Each subject closes with an expandable/collapsible section called "Learn More About..." with links to more information. Are you suggesting that more links are needed or that the purpose is not clear, or what is your suggestion for providing more useful resources?
Finally to your suggestion for encouraging more training, we are in the process of creating more detailed online Tutorials on specific techniques and Best Practices. Once those are complete, we will certainly point to those. In the meantime, we try to remain vendor neutral and not recommend commercial products or services as much as it is possible to do so. If there are free online resources that you would recommend for us to include, please send those along and we will gladly consider their inclusion.
I hope I have addressed your comments and once again, greatly appreciate your interest and dedication to web accessibility. Thank you for writing and please stay in touch with further suggestions. We encourage your continued feedback.
Sharron Rush Invited Expert on behalf of Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) WAI/W3C
Subject: WAI Easy Check Document Not Useful Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:25:29 +1100 From: Tom Worthington <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
The "Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility" is well intentioned but not useful. The document is intended to help assess the accessibility of a web page. However it uses concepts which a non-expert will not be familiar with. It is unlikely that many people will have the patience to study this document. Instead I suggest encouraging the use of automated checkers, which give the user a quick automated check, explain how to do additional manual checks and provide links to detailed information.
Those wanting more detailed understanding should be encouraged to undertake a training course on web accessibility. This could be one of the free on-line courses available, or one at a vocational training institution.
-- Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150 The Higher Education Whisperer http://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/ PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia http://www.tomw.net.au Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science, Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/