Education and Outreach Working Group Teleconference

23 Mar 2012


The meeting began with a review of existing materials that EO will conribute to the WebEd Community Group curriculum development work. Shawn created an EO wiki page for developing curriculum contributions. Three sets of existing materials were considered: Accessibility Basics, Preliminary Evaluation , and the Before and After Demo (BAD). Suzette is taking the lead, collecting comments from members, reviewing and refreshing the existing materials, and considering how to format and make the accessibility lessons most appealing and to encourage developers and curriculum creators to adopt them. Members are contributing. For example, Denis spent a few hours cleaning up outdated references and adding new tools and techniques that were no yet in exisitence when the materials were originally created. Ian is consulting with a colleague for permission to contribute evaluation methodolgy. Acknowledgement of such contributions was seen to be an important thing to incorporate and maintain. EO members are encouraged to review the wiki pages and eitherand send comments about updates, approach, and formatting to Suzette or to jump in and edit the wiki pages directly.

The group next considered the community collaboration work that was given impetus in response to a February 29 CSUN panel on the subject. In considering how to continue and build on the enthusiasm expressed at that event, members considered options of creating a community group around accessibility. Recognizing that there is still low awareness of the possibilities of Community Group work and that there are general misconceptions about how to work with WAI, the group is moving toward consensus on the idea that Community Group work has the potential to bring people in productively and usefully. The thought is to start with small easily defined tasks or projects in order to demonstrate the agility of community group work and to give non-EOWG members a forum for input. As projects gain community participation and are developed, they may then be brought into WAI for alignment with W3C standards and protocols and polished to become official WAI documents. This will accomplish a couple of things - it would allow broader accessibility community with a useful connection to WAI and it could begin to address the accumulated WAI "wish list" of projects yet to be fully funded or internally resourced. Ian and others cautioned about dependence on development within a wiki framework. The group discussed the need to be clear about goals before seeding a Community Group. Among goals suggested are:

Additional processes will need to be set up for transition from Community Group work into WAI EO and the development of consensus. With these considerations, the group is favorable toward further defining and proceeding with the idea of seeding community group work in support of stronger collaborative efforts to achieve WAI EO goals.

Shawn reminded everyone to check action items, remembering that there are general action items at the top of the EO page and to update availability for future EO teleconferences.


  1. Initial batch of course materials - Accessibility Basics, Eval Preliminary, BAD
  2. Community Collaboration - (W3C & WAI places)
  3. Reminder: Update Availability for Upcoming EOWG Teleconferences


Shawn, Jennifer, Ian, Sharron, Suzette, Emmanuelle, Denis
Liam, Sylvie, Shadi, Helle, Andrew, Wayne, Vicki, Jason, Pooja


Initial batch of course materials http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Curriculum_%26_Course_Materials#Draft_new_pages

Shawn: We started to consider these materials last week, and will continue to consider and comment on them. We have scoped out a big picture but we do have a pending publication date that we want to meet with updated materials.
...Now we have Accessibility Basics and Evaluation. We talked about coming up with updated content for those and then providing guidance for using BAD as a teaching tool.

Suzette: We usually have a scoping statement at the beginning of our docs and we don't have any of that here. Is it necessary to think about and explicitly state our intended Objectives, Goals, Audience and such?

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Web_Accessibility_Basics

Shawn: Good point. Why don't we look at what we have started and use the discussion of that to pinpoint goals and other scope elements?
... for a first pass at this, we wanted to point to other documents mostly. But did you have an idea of what the page would look like finally? Do you think that we need an introduction to the materials we are pointing to?

Suzette: Yes, we might use this page to prepare people for what they will find when they land on the WAI material that we point them to.

Shawn: So an overview paragraph for the page and then an short introduction for each link that we point to.

Sharron: Should we be trying to align to what they do already - the WebEd format?

Shawn: The style guide is not extensive and the styles used are pretty varied.
... we can take a pass at what we have begun and then check in with Chris about what the expectation is.
... Suzette, do you want to take a pass at the intro as well as develop an intro paragraph for each link?

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/gettingstarted/Overview.html

Shawn: You could start with looking at the Annotated Navigation Pages

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/components.php

Shawn: Each has an introduction to the links that are suggested. You might start by grabbing those with the annotations. Each document also has a fairly short intro on the page - a sentence or two. Maybe just pulling those into this work would be a good start.

Suzette: I would have thought that for this audience of developers who will use the WebEd resources, we will want to better describe the benefits of using these materials, to be encouraging.

Shawn: What you might do then is review these intro comments and choose the ones that are most inviting. Feel free to edit for the encouragement aspect.
... so between the Annotated Nav pages and the intro in the pages themselves, you would be able to get started. What is your timeline?

Suzette: I can have a draft by next week to see if we are in the right direction.

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag

Shawn: Any other thoughts on the Web Accessibility Basics page?

Shawn: Next let's look at BAD
... Suzette you had some thoughts about that. Your ideas were about how to use these.

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Web_Accessibility_Before-After_Demo_(BAD)

Sharron: Suzette, I built a short developer training around it last week and will be happy to share.

Suzette: Yes, it needs a practical excercise to get people to know how to approach and use it.

Shawn: A rough draft of what you are thinking that we can bring to the group for comment.

Sharron: The hands-on demo was useful and valuable to student participants.

Suzette: Yes a practical example will be useful and it's very helpful to look at the code.

<scribe> ACTION: Sharron to send BAD excercise to Suzette. [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action01]

Suzette: Develop Basics draft for wiki page

<scribe> ACTION: Suzette to Develop Basics draft for wiki page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action02]

<shawn> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Web_Accessibility_Preliminary_Evaluation

<scribe> ACTION: Suzette to integrate examples and approach to BAD wiki page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action03]

Shawn: for the Evaluation page, there is existing material on the wiki with quite outdated materials. Can someone look at this and comment about how to update?

Ian: What is the audience?

Shawn: Needs to be better defined. So that is one of the things we need to do.

Ian: I have a more current document, from a collegue about browser-based testing. It's written for developers or testers with technical background rather than accessibility specialists. Mentions screen readers and other AT.

Shawn: How long is it?

Ian: Not too long, fairly straightforward. It is a thing to do and then bullets to check when the thing is done.

Shawn: We can add acknowledgements so we can give your colleague credit..
... how will it fit? should we add to the existing page or set a separate wiki page for it?

Ian: I can add it or email to you for adding in as you think best.

Shawn: No, please go ahead and put it on the wiki with the acknowledgments.

Denis: Before Ian talked about that, I meant to say that when I did the clean-up last week, I began by removing very old outdated references, and came to the conclusion that we should rewrite the entire thing.

Shawn: Did you do the updates?

Denis: yes, I removed much and added current resources. I spent a couple of hours.

Shawn: Thanks very much Denis. I did not get a notification.

Denis: Since Ian has a document to contribute, I would rather spend that time working on something more current.

Shawn: I am assuming that we can look at the updates and the history.

Denis: Yes, I removed references to WCAG1 and added newer tools that were not available when it was written.

Shawn: What about the structure? Is it sufficient or does it need to be changed as well?

Denis: I think the structure is fine. Select a few pages, run a few tests with free browser tools and you will get a good general idea.
... then move to a screen reader and see how it works. Needs further definition.
... I might change the order. Personally I prefer to start with the screen reader, go to auto testing, and end with the semi-auto or manual testing.
... that is my method, but not sure everyone agrees.

Shawn: Well please, as the lead editor of that, put those ideas and approaches in the wiki and we can comment.

Denis: I am very interested in the document that Ian has mentioned as long as it is fairly short. Would love to end with a two page document that can get them started.

Shawn: Brainstorm, maybe a section with the testing devided into time and skill levels. Such as, you have five minutes and low skills, what can you do? 30 minutes? etc

Ian: We may also want to mention the technique of testing while developing. Making it part of the development process.

Shawn: Excellent point. The eval approach for looking at an existing page vs the approach of integrated into development.

<scribe> ACTION: Ian to ask colleague for permission to share eval document with acknowledgment. [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action04]

<scribe> ACTION: Denis will integrate Ian's material and reorganize eval page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action05]

Community Collaboration http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Community_Collaboration#W3C_WAI_stuff

Shawn: We have talked the last two weeks about post-CSUN ideas for working and developing materials as a community. It continues to be very apparent that there are significant misunderstandings of how to contribute to WAI.
... also lack of awareness of working within the Community Groups.
... would like to talk more concretely about the potential for seeding a group like this in WAI.
... what are some goals, cautions, benefits of encouraging the formation of a community group?

Denis: We definitely need to do this in my opinion. The a11y BoK and the Evaluation Matrix. In both cases, my intention is to try to persuade them to work within the WAI. So far the response is to stay on the mailing list format. Progress is quite slow. But if it turns out to be active, I will continue that persuasive effort.
... my proposition will be that if we do begin to build something, that it be done in WAI or even on the WebEd wiki as part of the contribution. I am uncomfortable with the whole thing being done outside WAI.

Sharron: How can we support you?

Denis: Can't really say. There are few people activly participating, mostly those who were in the conversations at CSUN. And the topics are not the same. The a11y BoK is quite different from the need for a skills testing framework.

Ian: We are in the same situation of needing to understand the skills of many different technical staff.
... my hesitation with what is being proposed is the notion of development on a wiki. That can be problematic, things can be lost and the process can easily get out of control
... I'm not certain about whether WAI should be involved in or not.

Shawn: It seems that WAI should probably not be involved in skills testing as a priority.

<shawn> suzette: European Computer Driver License

Suzette: There is a European effort to see how to integrate accessibility. How we can both teach and test accessibility on an undergraduate level?
... so if we had a point of reference through one of the professional education organizations, it could help.

Sharron: If there is not an opportunity for WAI to lead on this, because frankly we do not have the resources, is there an opportunity for us to collaborate so that outcomes align with WCAG2?

<Sinarmaya_> Yes, in Spain there are some university references.

Suzette: Probably so, but would have to define the collaborative offer.
... there may be funding sources if we define it clearly.

Shawn; To transistion back to the broader idea of community groups? If we were to encourage or seed a community group, what would be the goals?

<shawn> Goals:

<shawn> * Lower requirements for participating in WAI work. (WG participants require 4-hr committment, plus W3C membership or Invited Expert status)

<shawn> * Increase positive contributions

<shawn> ...

Jennifer: Demonstrate the capacity to work with more agility

Denis: Yes, that will address many hesitations from external observers and potential contributors.

<shawn> correct misperceptions

Denis: It is a perception problem with the way things are done.
... the work is actually proceeding more rapidly than they know.

Jennifer: And working with volunteers may not go as quickly as they imagine it will.

Shawn: Most of the slow pace is due to the ability of people to contribute time. So either we will have people jump in and get things done or the community will confront the reality of general lack of time to contribute, despite all the best intentions.
... what will be the goals?

Sharron: broader engagement, more people contributing

<shawn> ... give people who want to contribute an avenue to do so

Denis: There is a wierd relationship between W3C and the awe that people feel of it. It is a white tower for experts only, many are intimidated by the prospect of joining.
... so the community group will help to change that perception and let people see that it is an open society and joining the community group allows people the steps they need to understand other working groups.

<shawn> stepping stone

Sharron:That's true. I wouldn't have thought to join except John Slatin encouraged me & Shawn

<shawn> not unreachable

<shawn> denis: dropping self-imposed barriers

Denis: My personal experience is similar. People who you perceive as unreachable are working at the W3C and when you work with them, the process is demystified and you are more able and confindant to contribute.

<shawn> ... people influential in their own little groups, their feedback would be useful

Shawn: So how do we realize these goals? Do we start with a few seed projects that will foster them?
... would rather not be too big. Would rather start small and succeed.

Denis: Some of the work being done externally could possibly be done here, but may need to overcome those negative perceptions we have discussed.

Sharron: Whatever we propose should be practical, quickly achieved and able to be put into practice.

Shawn: Yes, perhaps we should have some quickly achieved projects and also keep an eye on the bigger task of the BoK that seems so needed by the larger community.
... there are the three projects for WebEd. Maybe categorizing WCAG SC by role. Denis has a start for that, Lisa Herrod has done work on that, would that be something good to refine within the community group?

Denis: Yes that is where I would want to work on the role definitions. I would like to be challenged on it and improve it. What I am planning on doing is to put a draft there among our selves to comment. Then we can push it to the Community Group wiki and what comes from that may turn into an official WAI document. Maybe it is better to start on the Community Group wiki?

Sharron: If we are really wanting broad participation, the role definition would be a terrific place to start because it allows people to approach from many different aspects.

Denis: Perhaps work on it and present at AccessU as a launch of the project?

Shawn: I agree that the role breakdown is less contentious. But I would like to get this going before AccessU.

Sharron: On the community group wiki?

Shawn: Yes, and depending on timing we could develop the concept for AccessU
... and another idea was presenting lists.

<shawn> * wiki page for listing "Advocacy groups of people with disabilities, of older people, or others, [that] may be interested in contacting the organization about their inaccessible website." in support of Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites <http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/inaccessible#ask>

<shawn> * wiki page for recruiting/finding people with disabilities to help with early evaluation (e.g., disability mailing lists), in support of Getting a Range of Users <http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/involving#diverse> (for Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility <http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/involving> & Involving Users in Evaluating Web Accessibility <http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/users>)

Shawn: We suggest that advocacy groups may be useful in contacting organizations about inaccessible web sites. Maybe the Community Group is a place to list that. Also could list places to contact people with disabilities as users.

Jennifer: I would also say that we have a fair bit of those that I collected for earlier outreach and have alreadey placed in the wiki. Much of that can be copied out from what is there.

Shawn: Should curriculumm and course materials resources be only in the WebEd wiki, are they WAI documents? Any clarification?

Sharron: Didn't we originally say that we wanted to avoid dupication?

Shawn: Yes, but perhaps we should think more about it.

Sharron: What about posting media - demonstrations of people with disabilities using technology. It is always powerful.

Denis: And for outreach - This is a suggestion we have for doing this Community Group. What do you think would be useful to work on and how would you like to contribute - we may want to send out messaging like that to encourage people to say how they want to contribute and what they want to work on.

Shawn: Does that blur the line between EO and the Community Group.

Sharron: Maybe but that is not a bad thing. It makes EO seem more genuinely interested in collaboration as follow up to the invitation to work together that was given at CSUN.

Shawn: There is concern about whether there is a way to define what is an official WAI document and what is Community Work?
... seems like the placement on a wiki with a disclaimer.
... what if it really works in a great way. What does it look in a year? Positive realistic view?
... what does it look like?

Denis: Contribution of content by few and reading, commenting by many.
... maybe six to ten people wotking on content with 200 or more who can read and comment. That commentary will feed the providers on how to improve the content. Easier access to game changing resources. Contribute according to their own abilities and an easy access platform to do so.

Sharron:And community events, like the AccessCamps and other awareness activities would be coordinated within the Community Group.

Ian: A successful community group...how much will WAI reach out to them once they prove themselves?

Shawn: WAI will seed the group and remain very active in it. What else might be expected?

Ian: Could the process lead to recruit participants into EO from the Community Group?

Shawn: We have a wish list of things we want to accomplish. As the group develops we may put some of the items on our list out to the Community Group.Once materials begin to solidify, bring the work into WAI for polishing and official adoption as a WAI docment.

Sharron: What about people? Would participation in Community Group be considered as a way to recruit active participants in EO?

Shawn: I would LOVE that! As people understand what the commitment and process of EO is and express willingness and interest, it would be great to have members added to our group from that process.

Ian: It may be worth making it clear at the outset that there is potential for Community Group work to be taken into EO.

Shawn: There is an IP statement of participation in the community group.
... there are always acknowledgments, we may need to refine and be clear on that process. It is very mportant that we acknowledge well!

Denis: Most people want to be recognized. When people would link to our content as we began our business, it made us very happy and appreciative.
... if the acknowledgement process is well done, it works as an incentive.

Emmanuelle: It is important to have recognition for contributions as well. The WAI IG list often goes without response from WAI, important that the Community Group does not have that occur and that it is maintained

Update Availability http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/35532/availability/

Shawn: Thanks, have a great weekend, thanks for all this input, remember to update availability.

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: Denis will integrate Ian's material and reorganize eval page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action05]
[NEW] ACTION: Ian to ask colleague for permission to share eval document with acknowledgment. [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action04]
[NEW] ACTION: Sharron to send BAD excercise to Suzette. [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action01]
[NEW] ACTION: Suzette to Develop Basics draft for wiki page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action02]
[NEW] ACTION: Suzette to integrate examples and approach to BAD wiki page [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2012/03/23-eo-minutes.html#action03]

[End of minutes]

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