EOWG Minutes 23 May 2011

[face-to-face meeting page]


  1. Promoting ATAG

Background reading:

W3C website pages on user agents and authoring tools (analysis):


Suzette, Sandi, Jason, Liam, Ian, Sharron, Vicki, Alan, Helle, Shawn, Matthew Yates(part), Jeanne(phone,part), Char(phone,afternoon)


Promoting ATAG

Message: When tools follow ATAG it makes developer’s jobs easier

Discussion…can ATAG be sexy? Success of web based on low barrier to entry.  Employment consideration (anti-discrimination regs) can be powerful incentive.   Mandate 376 for EU requires procurement of accessible IT. Enforcement or implementation mechanisms are weak.  VPAT or other method of assessment is needed. While industry thinks “self-assessment” has been successful, advocates disagree.

How to relate ATAG outreach to WCAG?  Many think WCAG should be de-emphasized, some that the relationship should be clearly made.  Vendors often become “rabbit in headlights” when asked about accessibility of the authoring tool itself. Promotion of the writing aspects would be the most compelling message.

What is more important – that the tools themselves are accessible?  …or that they output more accessible content?  Employment consideration says back end must be accessible.  Several members think that it is most important to provide that choice to employers.  There are so many quick and easy ways to place web content through open source or social media tools, several feel like the content output is most important.   Must remain aware of commercial realities.  Many companies want ease of drag and drop and other facilitation mechanisms that are more difficult to make accessible.  ATAG will help make people more aware of the issues, what is possible.  Web is a read and write medium, advocate more strongly for the voiceless than the ignorant who could do if they learned WCAG.  Developers of these tools are more likely to understand the back end requirements if those are emphasized.  

Will W3C validate when tools have met ATAG2? When ATAG is in Candidate Recommendation there are formal reporting  stages.  Might be self-reporting with comment feature.  Would be useful for companies looking for internal blogging tools, must be defined by levels or more specific.  Tool is required to be no more difficult to use for people with disabilities.  Cognitive is noticeably lacking.

Good point that if they pay attention to getting the back end right that they will be more likely to get the front end.  However, the number of the ignorant is huge and perhaps as compelling as the voiceless.

Our message should be inspirational as well as practical.  All tools should be accessible within the understanding of equivalence of service. 

Audiences and Desired Outcomes

Ian reads from document.  Discussion – people who use the tools may include editors as well as authors. Do we need separate FAQs for separate audience?  Core messaging delivered with slightly different emphasis.  Arguments change as the tool makes it way through an organization and is employed by different people in different roles. Do buyers get feedback before purchasing? If not, how can accessibility be included?  Have talked about auxiliary benefits in the past, are there any related to ATAG?  Top 5 targeted companies, tool providers, platforms, writable.  Drupal 7 meant to make accessibility progress.  ATAG will provide press release and testimonials.  Can outreach to their specific communities – open source, etc.

Promotional Metaphors

Think about the metaphor, how do we want to create it, what kind of slogans.

[Lunch. Jeanne Spellman joins. Char joins.  Ian summarizes morning activity.  Liam’s slogan “All may write,” Morning session included debate on which to promote primarily – all may write or all output is accessible. ]

Materials development

 Authoring toolmakers given blog space to allow them to brag on what they are working on.  Paragraph to send out to newsletters. Reviewed WAI-ARIA overview as a model format. 

Core materials from a marketing perspective.  Should create foundation for all other follow-ons such as email outreach, newsletter blurbs, press releases, etc.  Proposal;

Would then have all the pieces within the core materials.  The benefits are important to be highlighted but also have an opportunity to launch a “movement,” to articulate a vision of a better world. Appeal to their sense of how to change the world.  Are we selling the benefits of being an early adopter?  Can altruistic purpose be wrapped in a benefits message.

Should we first promote goals rather than audience targeting ?  Overview document starts at high level of goals and drills down into audience interest. Need to let them know yes, you are in the right place, this is for you.

If we do the core materials right all else follows.  There are six areas for which this process needs to be done.  Thinking about ATAG, there are many audiences.

Could we not do just a brief overview of the central, top level issues, prioritize those and see what reaction we get? Appealing to think that we could get kernel of follow on documents in the overview. What will core materials be?

Would be good to reduce the number of different documents you must refer to.  However, Implementing ATAG seems like it mixes up the Understanding and the Techniques documents from WCAG2.  If developers are accustomed to the WCAG2 format, are confused. Good point since the WG was not chartered to write the Understanding document, did the Implementing doc that reduced back and forth of WCAG2 to make a human readable document that explained, gave examples and gave additional resources.

Several of the audiences only need the high level intro, overview etc.  We should mean a Suite of documents among which is the supporting document.  Technical document becomes secondary. ATAG’s a badge or a test or a state of true or false.  

Tone of Voice

What is the tone of voice?   It is a standalone   document with a personality.  WCAG1 was a policeman, HTML5 is a super hero.  But a disappointing superhero.  Better to disappoint everyone rather than being good but not having anyone know about it. Can personality be sexy and responsible?  Low cut dress and sensible shoes.

Two choices – document structure or tone of voice.  Grass roots, innovative, inspirational, balance.  Idealistic, changing the world, transforming the web, dry somewhat boring idealist.  Castro not Guevara. The movement to change the Web, grassroots, will get more mileage engaging with open source than with policy maker.  Shared knowledge, open, easy going or complicated?  Easy going on the surface but complicated beneath.

Open source folks want – either idealism or technical challenge?  Which is the primary beneficiary of making their lives easier?  The developers who want to spend no time in figuring out the user interface. 

Will ATAG cause revolution or evolution in their lives? Will ATAG change the world a little bit at a time or a lot at a time?

If we take the revolutionary tone how will we reach the procurement officers?  It will make the job of the buyer much easier – this person wants to feel that all the problems have been solved. How would revolutionary personality appeal to policy and procurement?  Tailor it by pointing to the existing system, the WCAG etc.

Watch out for calling out “early adopters” may not be accurate.    Some want to see the text and see how this all new approach will fit in with past documents, would like to see a draft, how it relates to past work.  Some don’t follow, feel lost.   Seems that there are two personalities, one is empowering, enabling, helpful.  Then there is the challenging, revolutionary techie.  How does revolutionary tone play to audiences other than American/European?  May be misunderstanding because the personality will underlie the outreach but not be explicit. 

Can our personality talk about both making the authoring tool accessible and making content that is accessible to all and still be credible?  Sandi will take a leap at it.

Document structure

Everyone will go to the Overview section and then branch out.  First paragraph very top level.  We have intros on main W3C blue site, have an accessibility overview and browsers page – how do we lead into ATAG pages? Review WAI-ARIA suite of documents. Suggested that how to participate is placed at the end along with who develops (and perhaps make that change to all the overview documents).  Is version control this important?  Recent survey show that even after two years everyone points to WCAG2, most countries still point to WCAG1.  Is it agreed that we will back off versioning reference as far as is permissible?  That is wordsmithing let’s table.

Are we happy with two examples included?  Depends on how compelling and clear they are. Would rather have none than weak ones.

What are the benefits if ATAG?  For developers ATAG provides clear, testable guidelines for making product accessible and produce accessible content.  Clear, pre-made product requirements so wheel does not have to be reproduced. Referencable guidelines for policy makers able to change and stay current with tech advances.  For buyers, guidelines that are clearly testable so they can be evaluated and weather products meet government requirements.  Built-in accessibility checker is required and easier repair mechanisms.  Reduces risk for disability community of not being able to use authoring tools, products made with ATAG principles.  Programmatic access to editing functions for people with disability (example is spellchecker).  

Messaging is more compelling around the possibility for everyone to use of tools.  Do we need to take the leap to a higher level message around question of how they all work together – ATAG, UUAG and WCAG?  And then, what is ARIA? How does it fit?

Recent discussion of harmonization of standards leads to the idea of open, inclusive web with full interoperability and that guidelines, including authoring tools, browsers, developers all had their responsibility in making their piece fully accessible.  EO has visited this before and did not proceed since many had objection to interoperability or design for all ideas went beyond what is intended by WAI.  WAI was meant specifically for people with disabilities.  People without disabilities got their accessibility built in and the WAI was created and has evolved to include people with disabilities.   

Maybe our task is not to come up with outreach specifically for ATAG but to articulate better the whole nature of the web – how to build the web we should have built in the first place – the inclusive web.  It ties in with messages from the W3C about finishing the job as was intended. 

Most of the target audience of our outreach will know about WCAG.  The focus for now will be ATAG and keep the whole network of interoperability in mind.

Homework for Tuesday:  read

Summary of Action Items

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