Education and Outreach Working Group Teleconference

19 Jul 2013


The main focus of this meeting was to evaluate and provide suggestions for the ongoing work on we have been calling the Accessibility Tutorials. Shadi led the group to consider the two different approaches that Bim has used in constructing these sample articles. EO members discussed how the two approaches meet the needs of the audiences that have been identified, both those who are new to web accessiiblity as well as those who may have general familiarity but are looking for specific solutions to problems. A suggestion was made to include interactive exercises, but that was ultimatley determined to be out of scope. Everyone recognized the value of such content and would support inclusion in future work. Howard reminded the group that he is working on continuation of a grant for university curriculum. He suggested that inlcudion of videos and exercises as part of the grant goals could be mutually beneficial. Shadi committed to sharing that informaiton with Shawn.

Navigation was generally considered to be coming along in the right direction. There was some disagreement about breadcrumbs arcing toward omitting them. Finally, no one could suggest a better title for these than "Tutorial." That term seemed accurate and descriptive to everyone. The old fashioned or out of date aspect of the term was put aside in honor of clarity about the intention of the resource. So the resolution was made to call the articles "Tutorials" once and for all. The meeting adjourned.


  1. Application Notes/Tutorials - discuss:


Sharron, Shadi, Bim, Vicki, Wayne, Howard, Paul, Sylvie
Suzette, AnnaBelle


Application Notes/Tutorials


Shadi: Bim has been quite busy working on the App Notes, the current approach needs EO review. There is a synopsis of the tutorial on the landing page. It is geared toward two audiences:
... primary audience is people who are new to accessiiblity. Second audience is for people who may know about accessibility but want to review techniques and current practice.
... another approach is for people who understand accessibility but want to find quick answer to specific questions. Combining these approaches, we tried to make it easy for veterans to find the specific info they need while also providing sufficient background to help novices understand background and context.
... today we want to look at the Images tutorial specifically and look at how well those goals are addressed.
... also tried these approaches on the Tables section. Bim?

Bim: Offline I have most of Table section complete and next is to address carousels. It is a different type of resource beyond having code samples.

Sharron: Carousel implementation is a hot accessiiblity topic these days too, thanks to Jared Smith.

<shadi> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-eo/2013JulSep/0012.html

Shadi: This basic approach seems to be working and we want now to drill deeper into one of these to make sure the approach is valid and how to refine it. I sent email to nudge the group to review and comment. I appreciate all the participation.
... after a general review we still need to address what we will call these articles.
... also need feedback on overall flow of the writing and navigation aspects. Is it clear that it is a multipage resource and how to move between sections?
... appreciate the editorial comments in the wiki.

Bim: Shall we have each question as an agenda item?

How does the approach address different audiences, such as people who are new to web accessibility and more advanced readers?

Subtopic: How does the approach address different audiences: novices to accessiiblity vs those who have greater understanding

Howard: Does more advanced mean coders?

Bim: Yes, it is geared toward coders

Shadi: But experts will be able to use WCAG directly, so perhaps it is more intermediate level who have heard of accessibility but need specifics.

Bim: I have made some of the suggested corrections from the wiki and thought it would be useful to incorporate some of the general comments. A few still need resolution by the group.

Wayne: I think we should have exercises on the page so that developers don't have to test on live code.

<Vicki> ;)

Shadi: Basically the request is to enlarge the scope from a tutorial to an online course?

Bim: However, if we provide exercises how do we provide feedback? It introduces a level of complexity that we have not anticipated.

Howard: One thing I guess you could think of is to simply ask the questions and then provide an answer on another page or with a hidden answer. So even though we cannot review their answers, we can let them know how we would approach it.

Shadi: One of our dreams at WAI is to develop a WAI curriculum in the long term. It is a great idea and something we could add on at a later time. I like the idea. Bim, how explicitly do we link to BAD?
... that is something that includes real examples, it has the annotations.

Bim: As of now, we do not reference BAD except in the Resources section. We link to Easy Checks and suggest to look at Eval Report of BAD

Wayne: Yes, I think what I suggested is an entirely different project. Now that I have said it out loud, while I think it is valuable, I can see it is outside scope.

<paulschantz> +1 to Wayne's suggestion of creating a companion piece. Exercises definitely go with tutorials.

Shadi: Bim, let's you and I look at places to examine the BAD and reference it.

Paul: Do you think we should address it now?
... Creating a companion set of excercises would take at least 6 months. But I would like to start using these in my own institution as soon as I can.

Howard: I am working on a continuation of a grant for university curriculum. I could write in the fact that we will work on videos and exercises as a part of the grant goals. That could be mutually beneficial.

Shadi: That is a very interesting proposal. Let's follow up on that with Shawn.
... how about breadcrumbs at the top of the page? Seems helpful to orient.
... We will be discussing navigation as part of today's agenda.

<Howard> +1 to that

Vicki: Overall I love this resource. Well done! Addresses the needs of both audiences

Shadi: Thanks Vicki and let's look now at the audience. How will people be using this resource. Who will use this...personas, etc?

Wayne: Let's ask each person who do you think will use it?

<shadi> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/changelogs/cl-app-notes#audience

Shadi: We captured this in the changelog when we first conceptualized. 3 primary audiences - Developers of all types; trainers and advocates; managers who will use it as a way to send their people to learn.

<paulschantz> good use of personas there

<Vicki> +1

Vicki: It fits the audience you have outlined - the tutorial approach is a good one to address these audiences. It is very well organized for this.

Shadi: Can anyone think of a persona/use case who would not be addressed in this approach?

Paul: The only audience that might not be addressed here is the super advanced developer for whom it may be too basic.

Shadi: Is it an issue that we do not address the needs of super advanced?

Paul: Personally no I do not think it is an issue since those folks will likely go straight to the source of WCAG

Shadi: Should we make note of that in the intro?

<Howard> I wouldn't add a caution

Vicki: In case this turns up in a search, however, should there not be a link to the source materials of WCAG?

Sharron: Yes that is a good idea.

Shadi: Recognize, acknowledge the source and link to it.

Wayne: Sometimes when I read WCAG2 it would be great to have something like this. Just to validate understanding.

Shadi: One of the goals of this material is to provide alternatives to some of the resources out there that are actually, blatently wrong. If there is a reference that can be pointed to that is aligned with WCAG, it may be an antidote to bad information out there.

Is the information provided complete, are there sections that are unnecessary, and is the level of detail appropriate?

Shadi: Is there something in the images section that has been left out?

Bim: Groups of images
... still need to address instances where images are grouped and it changes their meeaning (star rating for example) and the alt text should be relevant to the meaning.

Wayne: I commented in the wiki about the central concept of an image. Sometimes the whole image is not just the sum of the parts. If you scribe just the parts, you will lose the concept.

Shadi: Shall we read it aloud?

<shadi> [[Very often a graph, diagram or image convey an objective of the exposition. This objective and how the figure illustrates this objective should be stated explicitly. Example: The Gauss Flux Theorem justifies the visualization of lines of force for electromagnetic fields. This visual concept must be explained in words, even though a sighted person can perceive it at a glance.]]

Bim: I think I understand and I will try to find a way to describe it that will be digestible to the wide range of audiences that we have.

Wayne: I will look for more easily communicated examples.
... especially scientific concepts.

Howard: It occured to me that informative images when there are 100 or more pictures of an event or something where alt text becomes repetitive.

Shadi: Like a photo album?

Howard: Exactly.

Shadi: When does an image topic need to have its own page?
... logos are now exempt from certain requirements like contrast, images of text. Does this deserve its own page or is it OK to leave it in FAQ or tips page?

Howard: My personal approach is one thing, but wondering if there is an official recommendation?

Bim: I feel like that is covered well in HTML5 useful alt Tips linked in this section.

Shadi: Isn't there a case where this may become a group of images? So on one hand there are cases where in a yearbook, you need a unique alt for each person's image. But recently I took a series of fireworks pictures. How to provide alt?
... or the lighting of the Sydney Opera House?
... it is subjective and must be decided by the author.

Wayne: For math images, it has been suggested to put MathML in images of math equations

Bim: No alt text is not permitted within alt

Wayne: When you write an equation, every mathmatical expression has an equivalent verbal expression. Many in the accessiiblity community do not understand that

Bim: I will look for common formulas to use as an example

<Howard> alt text for e=mc2 is "boom"

<shadi> :))

<paulschantz> ha!

Shadi: Are any of the sections or examples here that are unecessary? any examples that do not show new information, new approach?
... any tangents or sections that do not add knowledge?
... one we are particularly considering is the "Benefits" sections

<Vicki> yes, good motivator.

<Howard> +1

<paulschantz> +1, but may be viewed as a "sales pitch" for accessibility. Maybe not the best place for it.

Sharron: Not sure about it because I think people will be here because they already know the Benefits
... adding information for people who are already here seems redundant

Shadi: if people are new, do they really know why?

Howard: I would leave it, it is short, easily scanned and provides information that newbies may not have. It is easily skipped and the benfits of keeping it in for those who need it are real.

Paul: There are benefits to doing accessibility, but outside of people who are familiar, there are a vast number who do not understand the benefits. So it could help get across the point and support internal advocates who may be wagin uphill battle.
... many may not need it, but having it there for those who do not understand could be quite useful.

Bim: Because we have the term "SEO" in there, if the page ever got popular enough linked often enough, it may be returned as a result for a search on "SEO"

<Howard> good 4 seo +1

Shadi: Should that be the primary motive to keep such a section?
... how many people will learn from that section?

Sharron: I'm convinced of value of leaving it in.

Wayne: I don't have it in fromt of me now, but is there somewhere that we state that images are invisible to both people who can't see but also to programs. The connection of machine readability and people is important.

Shadi: First section is called why it is important. It talks in human terms and does not make that connection. The machine linkage comes later.

<Howard> I would caution against further explanation - I think the current text is sufficient

Wayne: The meaning of a picture cannot be programmatically determined. If we can weave it in, it may be persuasive to developers

<Howard> want to avoid verbosity

Vicki: If I look at audience of managers, this seems short, scannable and tied into the needs of this audience.

Shadi: Yes it is good

Paul: I found another section about benefits that explicitly makes the connection between software and alt text.

Shadi: level of detail?
... please look at, consider and continue to comment.
... Also, consider the headings. Are they helpful, do they adeuately predict what you find within the sections?


<Howard> yes

Is it sufficiently clear that this is a multi-page resources and is it easy to navigate between the pages within the tutorial?

Howard: Suggests breadcrumbs

Paul: Personally I hate breadcrumbs. I think they are a dinosaur left from linear linkages

<Vicki> thump

Howard: It is not a religious issue for me. Here, it seems that the navigation is great but you can forget that you are part of a general tutorial when you get into the particular topic, such as images.
... it is really the tie-back to the larger resource that has other topics.

Shadi: This is a design topic, no right or wrong. Sometimes, I think they are sometimes useful it usually depends on good design, kept unobtrusive.

Vicki: I like breadcrumbs often. But I feel the navigation is quite clear so I did not miss them here.

Bim: On the wiki it was suggested bigger buttons for previous and next rather than small arrow.
... also a text explanation that there are alterate ways to navigate, using arrowns sequentially or using the topics and bouncing around.

Howard: The next page link is easy to miss now so I suggest some method of emphasizing that capability. Something that is quite prominant and hard to miss.
... As an alternative to breadcrumbs could be tabs at the top of the page that would give the same idea of being part of a larger piece

Shadi: There are many sections, could be many tabs. Breadcrumbs on the other hand would be only 3 levels deep.
... let's move on now to final topic.

What to call these things?

<shadi> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/Tutorials#What_to_call_these_things.3F

Shadi: The issue is that tutorials may be old-school sounding. Also that it may raise expectation of the depth of learning that may occur.
... the line is blurry but we do not want to disappoint people but we do not want something that sounds stale.

<Vicki> i'm a dinasaur

Sharron: Tutorials is a good description of what these are

<Howard> I'm a dinosaur also

<paulschantz> tutorials is a good placeholder until we (possibly) add exercises

<paulschantz> "application of (fill in the blank)" is more accurate

Shadi: One of the issues is that we want to use the terms as well for the URLs and what we call them will impact their address

<paulschantz> so if we DO add exercises, then these will indeed be tutorials

<Howard> let's call it web "bling"

Vicki: Tutorials is clear, spot-on for SEO

Shadi: I hear no objections to tutorials for now

Bim: A comment from Judy was mini-tutorials to deflate expectation
... courses would raise even more expectation

<Sylvie> I agree with Sharron: tutorials is fine, why are we looking for something else?

Howard: I see that some call their learning materials "Articles" but these are more than that

Sharron: It seems that we have chewed and chewed on this let's go with tutorials

<paulschantz> I agree with the resolution :-)

Shadi: It seems we could make a resoultion since we have circulated and not gotten any other vialbe alternatives

<Howard> +1

<Vicki> +1

RESOLUTION: Call these things "Tutorials"

<Vicki> +1


<Sylvie> +1

<shadi> +1

<Howard> +1

<Bim> +1

<paulschantz> I agreed with the resolution before it was a resolution

Shadi: Images or accessible images? Web content instead or web site?

<Vicki> No

<Vicki> +1 for sharon

<Howard> leave as "images" "tables", etc.

Sharron: I think accessible as a special category is mistaken. Accessibility should be mainstream. Good design is accesible desing and should not be called out as separate category of development

RESOLUTION: Do not add the word "accessible" in front of each topic


<Vicki> +1

<paulschantz> +1

<shadi> +1

<Howard> +1

<Bim> +1

<Howard> ditto - great job

<paulschantz> yes, awesome work!

<Howard> bye

Shadi: Have a great week, Shawn will be back next week

trackbot, end meeting

<Vicki> -Vicki

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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