Results of Questionnaire Add real world accessibility as placeholder

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2022-06-01 to 2022-06-07.

13 answers have been received.

Jump to results for question:

  1. Background
  2. Adding Placeholder Text

1. Background

We would like to begin work on approaches to real-world accessibility. This topic focuses on developing an approach that allows for minor accessibility issues to exist within conformant web content, as long as those issues do not impact the ability of an individual to use content.

Please list all questions, concerns, and thoughts you would like the subgroup to consider when crafting exploratory content. This list will help them get started and also be incorporated into a draft editor's note.


John Foliot
Jeanne F Spellman
Shawn Lauriat
Mary Jo Mueller A lot of the scenarios are being worked in the conformance sub-group which can help with the analysis of ideas and how they might influence the approaches.
- user submitted content (e.g. blogs, social media, video repositories)
- Archives of older material or scans of paper material
- Large-scale web-based software - All software has some level of bugs and intentionally ship that way. Commercial software typically ships code with an average of 15 bugs for every 1,000 lines of code.
Realize that for 1 million lines of code (not uncommon for commercial enterprise software), that's 15,000 bugs! Bugs are triaged and prioritized and Sev. 1 bugs are fixed, but others may be delayed or deemed not crucial to fix. There is a level of risk accepted when shipping with known bugs.

- Potentially build in tolerances into conformance. Even nuclear power plants have certain tolerances in many measurements. A lot of focus goes into the processes to meet requirements within those tolerances and triaging out-of-tolerance issues for its importance - safety is highest priority (which reminds me of some WCAG criteria like flashing, or maybe additional requirements to avoid causing motion sickness). In the real world there is a level of analysis of cost-benefit when considering which issues to fix and when. I think the notion of critical errors for particular user workflows or scenarios could be worked in.
- Potentially credit for use of good processes in design, development and test. There's lots of quality processes that have existed for many years (six sigma, ISO 90001) that I learned many, many years ago.

Michael Gower I understand the problem: there's no such thing as a perfect page.
Contrasting with that is that it's hard for someone not immersed in accessibility to understand what 'minor' accessibility issues might result from any particular bug.
I think that focusing on user processes as part of the evaluation for content should help. If we come up with a list of common user processes, AND teams apply those to their assessment of their pages, the emphasis should be that bugs in components that are part of that process (or impede navigation to that process) are more critical.
Sometimes I worry a lot about someone failing an otherwise beautifully functioning user experience because of one missing alt for an unimportant image. On the other hand, I don't know what the REAL impact has been. I don't know what kind of data exists, both for how teams assess their own content for 'pass' and to what degree a procurer or user of a page encounters something and raises a flag for it. My anecdotal experience is that dev teams address the stuff they believe to be more important (and treat deemed-less-important stuff just like other low-level bugs), and that assessors/users raise flags when something actually prevents their work.
So maybe the 'vague' system in place works okay, and all we need is some language in the Conformance section explaining this in sufficient language both to 1) prevent sites from saying Pass to problematic content and 2) prevent assessors from saying Fail to something that is on the whole very usable and accessible.
Makoto Ueki
Todd Libby
David MacDonald In general, I'm not crazy about the term "Real-World Accessibility". It seems to imply that WCAG was not intended for the real world and that it is aloof from the realities on the ground; that we need to make an explicit course correction in a dedicated section that basically says... "we've provided guidelines which are not realistic, and so here's a discussion of *reality*."

I'm not averse to a discussion in the standard of complex situations, and ways to reward organizations that are trying hard but have insurmountable complexities to meeting our current model, I'm averse to the pejorative connotation "Real World Accessibility" creates for WCAG. I would rather the emphasis be on the extraordinary situation that the web page or technology is in, rather than the aloofness of the "unrealistic" standard.

Maybe something like this would be better:

"Discussion of complexities in the application of guidelines for some sites" (or "for some situations")

Bruce Bailey +1 for emphasis on real-world accessibility. *Recent* DOJ CRT and ED OCR skews heavily towards a functional approach. See:
Sarah Horton
Alastair Campbell At Nomensa we create a 'barrier score', which is a subjective score based on what the blockers/severe issues are for the main tasks of the site/section.

I.e. it is a combination of the issue (e.g. missing alt text) and how severe an issue is the task, e.g. buy a jacket. If it is missing alt on a logo, that doesn't contribute much. However, missing it on the 'buy' button would be a blocker.

If we have a baseline of guidelines/methods which are true/false (e.g. has alt text), we do need something on top of that which is more about the equivalence of the alt-text. On top of that, it would be useful to have some level of importance to task(s), which allows some to be missing and some to be critical.
Gregg Vanderheiden this is a conformance issue or a policy issue. I really think it is a policy issue since it involves "time to repair" - which will vary under a lot of reasons.

This is being looked at by the conformance group - along with Bulk Occurrences of content, real-time content and many other things.
Laura Carlson

2. Adding Placeholder Text

Please review the draft placeholder text in Section 6.2 Real World Accessibility.

Reminder that you have to use the "Reveal placeholder & exploratory sections" button at the top of the table of contents to view placeholder content


ChoiceAll responders
I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft. 4
I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft with the following adjustments. 4
Something else (see comments) 5


Responder Adding Placeholder TextComments
John Foliot I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft.
Jeanne F Spellman I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft with the following adjustments. I think that the title is broad and could mean many things. I would like to recommend that we add a paragraph under the placeholder title. "The Silver Research project and WCAG Challenges document noted use cases for passing certain accessibility errors under restricted circumstances. This idea does not yet have consensus support and will be worked on in the upcoming months."
Shawn Lauriat I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft with the following adjustments. The title of this section likely needs adjusting, as those without the background info, above, will not understand what "Real world conformance" means. Maybe "Conformance in relation to real-world accessibility" or something along those lines?
Mary Jo Mueller I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft. A suggested addition: If there's a known sub-group working on a certain aspect of the content, the placeholder could state it. That way those who are most interested can monitor and/or participate in its creation.
Michael Gower Something else (see comments) The link isn't working for me. Even after finding the Reveal button, it's just a heading and no content. Can it be updated to point to exactly what needs to be reviewed please?
Makoto Ueki I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft with the following adjustments. Readers might get confused with the term "Real world".

If this section is about accepting minor accessibility issues when making a conformance claim, "Exceptions" or "Minor Accessibility Issues" might be more appropriate title for the intent of this section.

If we can add some editor notes which describe the intent and what we are working on, it would be better to get more understanding.
Todd Libby I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft.
David MacDonald Something else (see comments) Not sure about it as a topic that we commit to including in the future drafts. I think we can certainly explore ways to deal with these difficult issues, but expect there might be a fair amount of concern if the WCAG team is *perceived* as allowing sites to claim "exceptions" ... perhaps text should not be
"Section status: Placeholder. We will be addressing this topic."

But rather something less committed such as:
Section status: Placeholder. This is a place were we may explore issues about the complexities of implementing accessibility, when after much accessibility work on a site, there are factors that make that difficult or impossible to claim strict conformance, in the context of a WCAG 2.x model.

Also, I'm not sure about the term "real world" it appears to imply that WCAG is not addressing the real world and we have to have a special section to address "the Real World".

What about something like:

"Discussion of complexities in the application of guidelines for some sites"

Bruce Bailey I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft with the following adjustments. Right now I am seeing: Real World *Conformance*
I would rather it be: Real World *Accessibility*
Sarah Horton Something else (see comments) The work sounds important but pursing it as “approaches to real-world accessibility” may introduce ambiguity about whether we’ve been working on approaches to addressing real accessibility issues all along. Another way to explore this further within the WCAG 3 structure would be to work on defining critical errors for outcomes: https://rawgit.com/w3c/silver/real-world-accessibility-placeholder/guidelines/index.html#dfn-critical-error. The aim is the same, to identify issues that could prevent a person with a disability from independently using content or completing a task and prioritize those for conformance.
Alastair Campbell I approve adding the placeholder text to the editor's draft.
Gregg Vanderheiden Something else (see comments) This should not be a part of the guidelines. it is a global comment like "things that meet WCAG are also not accessible to all". in the preamble maybe

Think like a safety standard. If there is a but that make something unsafe -- it should not be called safe as long as bugs get fixed. it is not safe as long as the bug is there.

We *should*

if anything put this as a placeholder in the INTRO (not a section)
or in a policy recommendations section

People should not be sued for a bug if they agree to fix it in a reasonable amount of time <-- but that is policy not a measure of accessibility
Laura Carlson Something else (see comments) I agree with Gregg. Accessibility bugs should be fixed.

More details on responses

  • John Foliot: last responded on 2, June 2022 at 19:23 (UTC)
  • Jeanne F Spellman: last responded on 3, June 2022 at 13:09 (UTC)
  • Shawn Lauriat: last responded on 3, June 2022 at 18:23 (UTC)
  • Mary Jo Mueller: last responded on 3, June 2022 at 20:36 (UTC)
  • Michael Gower: last responded on 6, June 2022 at 16:24 (UTC)
  • Makoto Ueki: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 00:04 (UTC)
  • Todd Libby: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 13:18 (UTC)
  • David MacDonald: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 14:00 (UTC)
  • Bruce Bailey: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 14:28 (UTC)
  • Sarah Horton: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 14:52 (UTC)
  • Alastair Campbell: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 15:30 (UTC)
  • Gregg Vanderheiden: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 15:42 (UTC)
  • Laura Carlson: last responded on 7, June 2022 at 16:18 (UTC)


The following persons have not answered the questionnaire:

  1. Chris Wilson
  2. Lisa Seeman-Horwitz
  3. Janina Sajka
  4. Shawn Lawton Henry
  5. Katie Haritos-Shea
  6. Shadi Abou-Zahra
  7. Chus Garcia
  8. Steve Faulkner
  9. Patrick Lauke
  10. Gez Lemon
  11. Peter Korn
  12. Preety Kumar
  13. Georgios Grigoriadis
  14. Stefan Schnabel
  15. Romain Deltour
  16. Chris Blouch
  17. Jedi Lin
  18. Wilco Fiers
  19. Kimberly Patch
  20. Glenda Sims
  21. Ian Pouncey
  22. Léonie Watson
  23. David Sloan
  24. John Kirkwood
  25. Detlev Fischer
  26. Reinaldo Ferraz
  27. Matt Garrish
  28. Mike Gifford
  29. Loïc Martínez Normand
  30. Mike Pluke
  31. Justine Pascalides
  32. Chris Loiselle
  33. Tzviya Siegman
  34. Jan McSorley
  35. Sailesh Panchang
  36. Cristina Mussinelli
  37. Jonathan Avila
  38. John Rochford
  39. Sujasree Kurapati
  40. Jatin Vaishnav
  41. Sam Ogami
  42. Kevin White
  43. E.A. Draffan
  44. Paul Bohman
  45. JaEun Jemma Ku
  46. 骅 杨
  47. Victoria Clark
  48. Avneesh Singh
  49. Mitchell Evan
  50. biao liu
  51. Scott McCormack
  52. Rachael Bradley Montgomery
  53. Francis Storr
  54. Rick Johnson
  55. David Swallow
  56. Aparna Pasi
  57. Gregorio Pellegrino
  58. Melanie Philipp
  59. Jake Abma
  60. Nicole Windmann
  61. Oliver Keim
  62. Gundula Niemann
  63. Ruoxi Ran
  64. Wendy Reid
  65. Scott O'Hara
  66. Charles Adams
  67. Muhammad Saleem
  68. Amani Ali
  69. Trevor Bostic
  70. Jamie Herrera
  71. Shinya Takami
  72. Karen Herr
  73. Kathy Eng
  74. Cybele Sack
  75. Audrey Maniez
  76. Jennifer Delisi
  77. Arthur Soroken
  78. Daniel Bjorge
  79. Kai Recke
  80. David Fazio
  81. Daniel Montalvo
  82. Mario Chacón-Rivas
  83. Michael Gilbert
  84. Caryn Pagel
  85. Achraf Othman
  86. Helen Burge
  87. Fernanda Bonnin
  88. Jared Batterman
  89. Raja Kushalnagar
  90. Jan Williams
  91. Isabel Holdsworth
  92. Julia Chen
  93. Marcos Franco Murillo
  94. Yutaka Suzuki
  95. Azlan Cuttilan
  96. Jennifer Strickland
  97. Joe Humbert
  98. Ben Tillyer
  99. Charu Pandhi
  100. Poornima Badhan Subramanian
  101. Alain Vagner
  102. Roberto Scano
  103. Rain Breaw Michaels
  104. Kun Zhang
  105. Jaunita George
  106. Regina Sanchez
  107. Shawn Thompson
  108. Thomas Brunet
  109. Kenny Dunsin
  110. Jen Goulden
  111. Mike Beganyi
  112. Ronny Hendriks
  113. Olivia Hogan-Stark
  114. Rashmi Katakwar
  115. Julie Rawe
  116. Duff Johnson
  117. Laura Miller
  118. Will Creedle
  119. Shikha Nikhil Dwivedi
  120. Marie Csanady
  121. Meenakshi Das
  122. Perrin Anto
  123. Rachele DiTullio
  124. Jan Jaap de Groot
  125. Rebecca Monteleone
  126. Ian Kersey
  127. Peter Bossley
  128. Anastasia Lanz
  129. Michael Keane
  130. Chiara De Martin
  131. Giacomo Petri
  132. Andrew Barakat
  133. Devanshu Chandra
  134. Xiao (Helen) Zhou
  135. Joe Lamyman
  136. Bryan Trogdon
  137. Mary Ann (MJ) Jawili
  138. 禹佳 陶
  139. 锦澄 王
  140. Stephen James
  141. Jay Mullen
  142. Thorsten Katzmann
  143. Tony Holland
  144. Kent Boucher
  145. Abbey Davis
  146. Phil Day
  147. Julia Kim
  148. Michelle Lana
  149. David Williams
  150. Mikayla Thompson
  151. Catherine Droege
  152. James Edwards
  153. Eric Hind
  154. Quintin Balsdon
  155. Mario Batušić
  156. David Cox
  157. Sazzad Mahamud
  158. Katy Brickley
  159. Kimberly Sarabia
  160. Corey Hinshaw
  161. Ashley Firth
  162. Daniel Harper-Wain
  163. Kiara Stewart
  164. DJ Chase
  165. Suji Sreerama
  166. Lori Oakley
  167. David Middleton
  168. Alyssa Priddy
  169. Young Choi
  170. Nichole Bui
  171. Julie Romanowski
  172. Eloisa Guerrero
  173. George Kuan
  175. Justin Wilson
  176. Leonard Beasley
  177. Tiffany Burtin
  178. Shane Dittmar
  179. Nayan Padrai
  180. Niamh Kelly
  181. Matt Argomaniz Matthew Argomaniz
  182. Frankie Wolf
  183. Kimberly McGee
  184. Ahson Rana
  185. Carolina Crespo
  186. humor927 humor927
  187. Samantha McDaniel
  188. Matthäus Rojek
  189. Phong Tony Le
  190. Bram Janssens
  191. Graham Ritchie
  192. Aleksandar Cindrikj
  193. Jeroen Hulscher
  194. Alina Vayntrub
  195. Marco Sabidussi
  196. John Toles
  197. Jeanne Erickson Cooley
  198. Theo Hale
  199. Gert-Jan Vercauteren
  200. Karla Rubiano
  201. Aashutosh K
  202. Hidde de Vries
  203. Julian Kittelson-Aldred
  204. Roland Buss
  205. Aditya Surendranath
  206. Avon Kuo
  207. Elizabeth Patrick
  208. Tj Squires
  209. Nat Tarnoff
  210. Illai Zeevi
  211. Filippo Zorzi
  212. Gleidson Ramos
  213. Mike Pedersen
  214. Rachael Yomtoob
  215. Oliver Habersetzer
  216. Irfan Mukhtar
  217. Sage Keriazes

Send an email to all the non-responders.

Compact view of the results / list of email addresses of the responders

WBS home / Questionnaires / WG questionnaires / Answer this questionnaire