[DRAFT] Procedure for creating and updating WCAG 2.0 sufficient and advisory techniques
The following is an initial draft for processing new techniques. It was discussed and accepted by the WG in the 07 May 2009 telecon.
Note: This content was moved from the WCAG Wiki. Refer to Externally Submitted Techniques Proposal for previous proposals and discussions related to this topic.
A key consideration in the design of WCAG 2.0 was that the structure and organization of the guidelines and supporting documents makes it possible for the WCAG WG to update the techniques and other supporting materials over time. In order to make the set of techniques maintained by the Working Group as comprehensive as possible, the WCAG WG encourages submission of new techniques so that they can be considered for inclusion in a future draft.
This document outlines the process and operating principles used by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) to incorporate new sufficient and advisory techniques into Understanding WCAG 2.0, Techniques for WCAG 2.0, and How to Meet WCAG 2.0. The procedures in this document are applicable to both internally generated techniques and to externally submitted techniques and are intended to make it possible for vendors of non-W3C technologies to document and test techniques for using their technologies in a way that they could be included in the WCAG 2.0 supporting documents.
This document is based on the following principles:
- The WCAG Working Group's mission is to help ensure the accessibility of Web content, whether a format is an open standard developed by W3C or a format developed elsewhere, including proprietary formats.
- For any format, the WCAG Working Group will pursue its mission through a fair and transparent process that considers community input, Working Group agenda, and available resources.
Group Considerations in Building its Agenda
The WCAG Working Group takes into account a number of considerations when building its agenda and setting priorities. The processing of a technique may be delayed (indefinitely) until resources or expertise are available to complete it.
- It may be necessary to recruit additional WG members with the desired technology expertise.
- The WG may request assistance from technology experts outside the WG. (Note: Those consulted would need to adhere to the WCAG participation policies, including the W3C patent policy.)
Guidelines for Timely Consideration of Proposed Techniques
Following these guildelines will help the Working Group consider technique proposals for approval in a timely fashion:
- The Working Group assumes that suggested techniques are for formats capable of supporting accessibility to begin with. If the format shows no evidence of supporting accessibility, the group is unlikely to consider techniques.
- Contributors must follow the contribution instructions, which explain what information is required and addresses other licensing requirements (contribution and distribution). Incomplete submissions are unlikely to receive serious consideration. The group may contact the contributor to provide additional information.
- Techniques proposed as "sufficient" must refer to a test page (working example) suitable for public review. Note that, for a technique to be approved as "sufficient," it must be possible to create a Web page that contains an implementation of the technique that conforms to WCAG 2.0 at Level A.
Working Group Expectations Regarding Publication of Approved Techniques
The WG expects to publish approved techniques in W3C technical reports. The group's expectations regarding publication include:
- The procedures and criteria used to review techniques are applicable to all techniques, whether originating from within the WG or submitted by a third party.
- Since all techniques will follow the same process, there will be no distinction between W3C and non-W3C technologies.
- The WG will accept submissions on a rolling basis and intends to publish updated drafts of the How To Meet, Techniques, and Understanding documents annually, but may adjust the schedule via public announcements. New techniques that are approved for publication by the WG will be added to drafts of the supporting documents and sent for public review. New techniques and techniques that include substantive revisions will be explicitly marked within the draft documents. All public comments must be addressed before updated versions of the documents are published.
- In each draft, the WG expects to highlight any new or substantially changed techniques.
All techniques submitted are subject to WCAG Working Group approval. There is no guarantee that contributions will be included in a techniques working draft.
For a technique contribution to be considered for publication, it must meet the following requirements:
- There must be some evidence of accessibility support for the technique. The Working Group does not define how many or which user agents, assistive technologies or languages must be supported, only that some level of support exists.
- Sufficient techniques must include a test page (working example) suitable for public review. Working examples are not required for advisory techniques, but contributors are encouraged to provide them when possible.
- For sufficient techniques, it must be possible to create a Web page that contains an implementation of the technique that conforms to WCAG 2.0 at Level A.
- Techniques must be written up in a complete fashion (refer to "Techniques Structure" below).
- Contributors must review and agree to the submission terms described in Corrections, Modifications, Patches, Contributions.
- Contributors must grant W3C (MIT, ERCIM, Keio) permission to produce derivatives and to distribute original and derivative works in public documents under the W3C Document license.
How to Submit
Contributors are encouraged to use the Techniques Submission Form to submit techniques. It is also possible to submit techniques by using the WCAG Wiki or by sending them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The submission form is in need of an update/review. It is not part of the proposed procedure.
Add checkboxes granting license and permission to archive.
Prior to submitting a technique, authors are encouraged to consider the following working group checklist items. Addressing these items prior to technique submission will make it possible for the group to process your submission more efficiently.
- The technique is complete (each section has been filled in).
- The technique is descriptive, not imperative. In other words, the sentences say "with this technique authors xyz" rather than "do xyz". The only exception to this is the tests section, where the steps in the procedure should be be imperative.
- The technique should not include the words "required," "must," or "shall."
- Techniques should not include comments about sufficiency or advisory, etc. (This information should be at the Understanding WCAG 2.0 level because a given technique may be sufficient for one success criterion and advisory for another).
- The technique should not ordinarily exceed 1000 words in length.
- In order to assist the WG in generating valid documents, submissions should use markup that validates to the HTML, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict DOCTYPES where possible.
- If the contribution includes non text content (ex. images, screen shots, etc.), appropriate text alternatives are provided.
- If user agent/browser issues are known, they should be noted in the User agent and assistive technology notes section. We encourage submissions that work in a variety of commonly used browsers and user agents (ex. Safari 1.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Internet Explorer 6+/Win, Opera 8+).
Refer to Tips for editing techniques for additional details about the structure of a techniques document.
The tips document is in need of an update/review. It is not part of the proposed procedure.
Note: The WCAG 2.0 Manual of Style, W3C Manual of Style and The Chicago Manual of Style, should be used as guides for manuscript style, especially for quotations, references, reference lists, punctuation, style, and grammar.
Review and Revision Process
Techniques will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will generally be considered in the order in which they were received provided that the working group has the resources available to review them. In some cases, sufficient techniques may be given a higher priority than advisory techniques.
When reviewing a technique, the WG will comment on a technique’s strengths and weaknesses, provide suggestions to authors, and make general recommendations about publication. The majority of techniques submitted undergo multiple revisions and copy edits before they are ready for publication.
If a technique is incomplete when submitted, we will contact the contributor to find out if they can help to complete it. If that is not possible, then the processing of the technique may be delayed until resources become available to complete it.
New techniques that are approved for publication by the WG will be added to drafts of the supporting documents and sent for public review. New techniques and techniques that include substantive revisions will be explicitly marked within the draft documents. All public comments received on new and revised techniques must be addressed before updated versions of the documents are published.
Contributors can check the status of a submission by sending an email to the WCAG editors list. If your work is accepted, we will contact you at the email address you provided upon submission. Published work remains part of W3C's techniques collection and will be archived indefinitely.