Silver Conformance Options Subgroup

15 Apr 2021


Azlan, Bryan, JF, sajkaj, sarahhorton, ToddLibby, Wilco

Meeting minutes

<Azlan> For some reason I cannot access the link to where the zoom call details are. I keep getting a message of insufficient privileges

Agenda Review & Administrative Items

Janina: April report, there is a draft in the wiki.
… Tried to capture what we did last week. Have additional use cases to talk about. As a target we have the day-long meeting on the 29th
… Presume we won't meet on the 29th

Peter: Is there anything we should re-orient ourselves around to be effective on the 29th meeting?

Jeanne: We're going to start with testing, then look at scoring, and from there look at what are the requirements of BSG.
… And how would we evaluate which option would be best.
… See this group in the last category. What are the use cases to test the conformance options against.

Peter: There has been discussion on Gregg's feedback about a level that is automated testing only. Is that a topic for the 29th?

Jeanne: It is, but might be a black hole, lot of negative feedback from people in the disability community who does not want to see a race to the bottom.
… There are options to talk about.

Janina: Option would be to make it part of the testing protocol, but not build a conformance level around it.

Jeanne: Something we want to do more with with ACT.

Janina: With conversations we've had, we want that level of testing. We'll see how that comes out.

John: We're starting to see tools that are "automated" but have a walk-through construction.

Janina: Part of the reason not to make it a conformance model, would be a moving target.
… Think we need to have this, trying to figure out how to have this.

Jeanne: Having a conformance level raises some problems, doing it at testing level will work.

Janina: Proposed a level called "threshold", insufficient for accessibility, but necessary before bronze.
… One of the Silver goals is to be flexible where we can, but not force flexibility where it is harder to achieve.
… Changing conformance normative is tough, updating supporting docs is relatively easy.

<JF> it's auto-detecting in my browser today

Janina: If anyone uses the browser for IRC, W3C will require HTTPS on Monday. HTTP will be redirected.

April Report Draft https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/task-forces/silver/wiki/April_Report_to_the_Silver_TF

Janina: First report draft is in the wiki. There is a skeleton in there, and I've tried to capture our conversation on third-party content.
… We reported in March on use cases that could be covered by Silver.
… We discussed last week on third-party content, we also still have "all software has bugs".

Peter: I'll add a use case on accessibility support to the doc. We can discuss next week.

Janina: Next week is the last week before we have to report. Have to close on it next week.

Peter: We promised for April to propose directions on how to address the items.
… For third-party, the big change is to go from what is in WCAG 2, to elevate to making a statement of conformance, calling out exceptions. It is a difference in phrasing. The question is around how to communicate this to users, and how to invite scrutiny where it belongs.
… 5b is some embedded web payment system. If there are not too many alternative, we want to say that the payment system the responsibility of that organisation.
… Suggestions are independent of the mitigation strategies, and it may be part of what someone need to do to meet the excepted conformance level.
… Provide tools and guidance what we're doing to have third-party user generated content be as accessible as possible.

John: Agree with the general direction, but am concerned with the criticality.

Janina: We have a use case where it lays out some stuff is contracted, and other stuff is third-party provided. Have to discuss how to make that distinction, but we know we have that need.

John: The impact of not completing a purchase if by its nature is more severe is not being able to understand everything in a video.

Jeanne: I think we addressed that with critical errors.

<JF> @janina, making the distinction between an EDU site and a non-EDU site will be extremely complex to document

<JF> with regard to conformance reporting

Peter: There is a small number of payment processors out there, if one of them is inaccessible, it is not something I can fix.
… "best meets" may still have failures.

John: I think it needs to be factored in.

Janina: We agreed on that in March. Trying to find new issues.

Peter: Having ideas for all of them will be more helpful than having one worked out in depth

Jeanne: On an individual example level we have the structure for critical errors to identify individual examples.
… What Peter raises is more of a macro issue; how does a small business have a responsibility for the accessibility of the third-party service they contract with.

<PeterKorn> Potential solution/direction to address: “Conforms, with the exception of the embeddable web payment system which can be found within our site at these locations/flows, and these are the actions we’ve taken to address that: x, y, z”

Janina: It's a use case we should capture. There are variations in third-party contract, and we should tease that out.

Peter: This is an idea for Silver on how it could allow an achievement that is explicit about what they've done to address.

<Zakim> JF, you wanted to ask how that would integrate into Bronze, Silver, Gold?

John: Something like what we'd have in a VPAT. We've heard discussions on badges. I wonder how such a proposal would be integrated with a bedge.

Peter: The fundamental shift is from WCAG 2, any third-party content with a problem means you can not conform. Partial conformance is non-conformance. This is trying to flip the direction. A site conforms with some exceptions.
… So that a site can conform for something they have control over.
… I think this gives a signal to regulators on where to point the focus.

Bryan: Are we talking about defining who is responsible for the accessibility of the experience?

Peter: Not just define who's responsible, but surface. Another example is copyright, some sight may have a film owned by someone else. Audio descriptions may need permission from the copyright holder.

Janina: We have use cases for those.

John: What I'm hearing is a conformance statement, instead of defining conformance.
… This is more about making a statement. Are we defining conformance, or conformance statements?

Janina: Neither, trying to capture ideas of things to consider.

Bryan: The challenge is to understand what is in scope and what is not. I think we've made progress. I think defining what is in scope is key.

<JF> +1 Sarah

Sarah: Seems like we've moved away from talking about conformance and moved towards something else.


Janina: I heard the notion that someone is contracting with a third party, and their ability may be limited to effect the remedy. Should not give them full points, but not zero points like in WCAG 2.

Sarah: Surprised we're talking about solutions

Peter: Our timeline says we'd deliver proposals. Suggest possible solutions to our use cases.

Jeanne: Could see us having a section in normative conformance part discussing third-party content.

Wilco: Sounds like what we're talking about is leaving third-party content out of conformance in some cases. Reporting seems beyond that.

Jeanne: Agree. What we should say is it can conform with some exceptions. Think that is a fair topic.

<Zakim> JF, you wanted to go back to critical failures and the impact of those on Bronze, Silver, Gold

John: WCAG 3 was going to be outcome based. If I can't pay, it is a critical fail. Documenting who is responsible is what we can do, but from a user's perspective they hit a brick wall. If something is a critical fail, it doesn't matter what else you've done.

Janina: WCAG can not deliver the end-to-end experience, it can only describe and define that well enough so that others can do something with that.
… Trying to build a tool of what success looks like. User that bumps into a critical failure, WCAG can not deliver a fully accessible experience. It is beyond the ability.

John: What's the difference with a third-party bit that has flashing content?

Janina: The courts can argue who's responsible. It won't be the W3C that decides who's responsible.

Wilco: Might be worth exploring third-party content not allowing critical issues

<JF> The W3C has NEVER argued who's responsible - we've defined what "accessible" is

<PeterKorn> This potential solution/direction itself has challenges, as the embedded web payment system may be critical to the use of the site - in which case we could have a “conforming site” whose primary purse isn’t accessible. Similarly, if the web payment system has a critical error (e.g. strobing which may trigger a photosensitive seizure), we again could have a “conforming site” that contains a horrible problem.

Peter: Added this to the document.

<sajkaj> JF, that's correct. And someone surfacing flashes on a Tuesday wqould not be the result of a W3C spec.

<jeanne> +1 to Wilco's idea of 3rd party content not generating critical errors. Of course, when the product is the first party, they are responsible.

<JF> Thank you Peter, I think that captures my concern (mostly)

<JF> and +1 to Wilco - 3rd Party cannot contain any critical errors

Peter: Tried to say there is a direction, but there are some challenges to it too.

Peter: Suggest that maybe 5c could look similar.

Janina: Yes, and so could copyrighted content.
… Third-party can provide audio description without permission of the copyright author.

<jeanne> I want to clarify what I thought I heard Wilco propose that we would not fail an individual company because there was a critical error in a thrid party site.

<jeanne> s/thrid party site. /third party product or content.

Janina: Ask people to look at the use cases from last week.

Peter: I think 3C is fleshed out enough, with the understanding these are ideas, not consensus proposals.

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 127 (Wed Dec 30 17:39:58 2020 UTC).


Succeeded: s/q_//

Succeeded: s/+!/+1

Failed: s/thrid party site. /third party product or content.

Maybe present: Janina, Jeanne, John, Peter, Sarah