Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force Teleconference

29 Nov 2023


Addison, alastairc, atsushi, JohnRochford, julierawe, Lisa, matatk, r12a, Rachael
matatk, Rachael

Meeting minutes

COGA's internationalization proposal


oops, that URL didn't quite come out right.

julierawe: *shares presentation linked in the invite*

<julierawe> https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1DrF-BaI5C8UsAa3ndM8SFjlb8eDrGwHr/edit#slide=id.p5

julierawe: Challenge is to develop a feasible plan for internationalizing our advice for both WCAG and Content Usable.

<Lisa> making content useable for people with learnings and cognitive disabilities is is at https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/

julierawe: There are many languages though.

julierawe: Plan is to make the advice as universal as possible to start with.
… Then developing specific tests for an initial set of languages.
… And creating guidance for translating the advice into different languages.
… Then constantly expanding by adding more resources for clear language, e.g. when new WCAG translations are added.
… The tests are informative (not normative) so can add as we go.

addison: What is it that you're trying to accomplish overall? That will determine whether the approach might work or not.

<Lisa> making content useable for people with learnings and cognitive disabilities is is at https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/

julierawe: Grounding is important. When we started drafting the guidelines, over summer we got a lot of comments along the lines of "what about this language?"
… We want to come out with testable outcomes rather than assertions.

addison: What does clear language mean to you?

JohnRochford: Essentially it's plain language; simple language. We're trying to create guidelines for creating text language that people can understand best.
… We've been using English as the prototype, with the assumption that once we were done creating testable guidelines, we would move on to other languages.

<Lisa> making content useable for people with learnings and cognitive disabilities is is at https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/

Lisa: I put a link in to the doc we call "Content Usable" - this is for people who want to make their content usable. The target audience here is content developers.

<alastairc> The specific bit on clear language: https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/#clear-language-written-or-audio-user-story

Lisa: Rather than limit ourselves to what's testable, we wanted to describe to people what they can do.
… We tried to make the content neutral (international). We want to do better. We tried to say "where it aids understanding, use simple tense and voice" with some examples in e.g. English and Hebrew.
… We tried to not relate to any specific languages, but we got some comments back about specific languages, like Japanese.
… We are coming to update the document, and want to make it more international. We need to publish, so need to focus on what we can achieve.
… WCAG 3 is also happening, and absorbing some of our guidance.
… This is the stuff we were finding most challenging to make international. There they need assertions; they're focused on legislation.
… Both need to plan for being international. Maybe different approach, but both have the same goal.

Lisa: Content Usable is a bit broader in that it doesn't have to all be precise tests, explicitly stated, can be some more common sense advice.

<Rachael> goals: 1) move clear language forward 2) use clear language a prototype a way to handle language and culture based needs in Making Content Usable and WCAG 3 3) Discuss best ways to collaborate on 1 and 2

r12a: Think we're getting close to answering my question. So the materials sent already all relate to plain language. Most of the problems we raised recently, and AC raised, were around different things, such as line heights, inter-character spacing, and more typographic issues.
… Is that included in our discussion today?
… Becuse Lisa and Rachael mentioned WCAG 3, I assume yes - that we're looking at writing clearer language, and the typographical/script issues.

Lisa: Yes. They're doing things in sprints, which have different focuses.
… We are looking for a good process of working together, as Rachael mentioned.

Rachael: Today's conversation is clear language. Line height is a separate issue. The approach of tests, that we will discuss today, could be applied to line height, if the approach works for clear language.

julierawe: Line height and spacing is part of another WCAG 3 sub-team, but similar idea in that the universal goal is to have enough of a line height to make it easy to read, but the tests would differ by language.
… The big thing we're talking about today is the approach: making the guidelines as universal as possible and then addding conditional tests per language.

<alastairc> We're using quite a bit of WCAG3 specific language (e.g. "assertions"), the whole group probably isn't familiar with those...

julierawe: How can we come up with a plan that's feasible, and allows for differences between languages.

<Zakim> addison, you wanted to go back to the agenda

r12a: ...and also applies to the typographical stuff. So we're looking at a process, that will span those aspects, and the WCAG 3 and COGA initiative.

Lisa: Also a lot of the people working together on this face accessibility barriers e.g. it's hard to follow GitHub. We may e.g. have a liasion with a group like APA with whom we work regularly.
… This is because they use processes that are not accessible to us. E.g. we don't know if we've been pinged via GitHub.

<alastairc> I think Addison got skipped in the q?

Lisa: So we may need someone to alert us when things like this happen.

<Lisa> sorry I did not recognise the vioces correctly!

addison: My suggestion would be to go back and finish the presentational bits, to see what your group is thinking, then go back and have an open discussion about how to work together.

addison: We want to make sure we choose the right approach for the clear language portion of your COGA effort.

julierawe: *returns to presentation*

julierawe: 5 initial languages picked [per slide]
… We started with UN 6 languages; removed French and Spanish; added Hindi (as it's a large language). This is a diverse group of languages.

julierawe: We looked at other sets of languages (e.g. 4 W3C ones; 5 most-spoken; ...)

julierawe: We wanted to come up with a diverse set of languages that covers different types of language, writing systems, large population, and will help us test our approach.

julierawe: Anyone from COGA want to add anything?

<Zakim> Lisa, you wanted to say this is only for the tests we provide that are not normative

Lisa: These tests in 5 specific languages are not the normative bit. They're example tests in specific languages that help you test if you've met the criteria.
… E.g. there may be example common words for each language (for the common terms test).
… We know that more test will be necessary.
… We went for more diverse structures, so that if we can make conditional tests for similar languages/families of language, this indicates that we can cover more languages in a given family of languages.

JohnRochford: Just to emphasize what julierawe said in the beginning: feasible. We have to figure out a feasible way of going forward.

i18n feedback and other concerns

r12a: (re slide 6): are we talking about clear language today, or are we talking about clear language and WCAG 3's typography tests?
… From a clear language point of view, this looks like a good list.
… Good mix of complexity and other factors.
… If you're looking at typography, then there are other factors that come in, so this choice may not be as good. So you may want to include something with accents (French, Vietnamese) as these affect visual readability.
… RTL is not as important as the fact that you miss out short vowel diacritics in those scripts.
… Tonal language: maybe interesting. Vertical layout: not critical for understanding the text, but becomes important for the line height and spacing discussion.

<alastairc> Suggested conclusion: Have different sets of languages for typograph/layout compared to understanding the words/phrases.

r12a: Interesting set to start with for clear language. If incorporating typography, we may need to think more about this list.

julierawe: I will pass this feedback along to the typography sub-group.

Rachael: I'd like to see us come with a set of languages that covers both the clear language and typography aspects, and have a unified set of languages that we agree on. Would be nice to not have to revisit that, even if the list is a bit longer.

<Lisa> +1 to rachael

Rachael: Along with this set will be instructions for people to add more tests [mentioned on slide 5]

<xfq> +1 to r12a (typography and clear language have different requirements)

Rachael: We don't have resources to add all languages as a group. but we can tell people how.

addison: I'd like to push back on having a set of languages. We do a lot of work with CSS. A lot is about typography, but a lot is about presentational aspects of text, e.g line height.
… In that context we don't have a set of languages that count as "done"
… Instead we look at the feature we want to implement, and the boundaries of that feature.
… There are several scripts that are used in multiple languages (e.g. arabic script can be used in non-arabic languages).
… We could say "we won't rest until we have at least some tests for these, but we also want languages that test the boundary conditions of the area that we're talking about" - and to be open to testing for languages that have particular needs.
… We could develop tests for those specific conditions.

addison: This could be more open and inclusive, especially to smaller language communities that may be invested in contributing to the project.

Lisa: I think there's value in having a list of main languages _and_ taking the approach addison suggests, maybe having a CG for people using specific languages.

Lisa: So it would be good to have a space where we ask for such input.

Lisa: COGA is a TF - I am not sure if we'll be able to get enough wide input. So can't rely on that approach entirely.

Lisa: We have a lot of language representation in COGA, but this alone was not enough.

Lisa: Having a community to provide input, but doing the rigorous testing for certain defined languages seems like a good approach,

Lisa: We may need a language with accents. Maybe that means we add French, and thus have 6. I'm not 100% sure we have a gap here, but if we find we have a gap, we should add a language.

Lisa: So we should work on the tests, and seek input from the community for the edge cases.

<Lisa> +1 to richard

<Rachael> +1 to facilitating others adding

r12a: I think what addison is proposing you've already said you were interested in doing. I don't think the intention was to demonstrate completeness with the chosen languages, but to kick the tires, and have anyone able to add specfic tests for requirements specific to them.
… I think there's value in this approach of having an initial list because it helps test assumptions and the process. I don't think that it's been said that this will enable them to define clear language in _any_ language.
… Re accents: Czech may be a better one.

<Lisa> better language of chech - i know a lot of people who can help with thta

r12a: People with dyslexia may struggle to read text written in a language that uses a lot of accents.

julierawe: I jumped to slide 13: how we would approach this work.

<Lisa> (hebrew - for some voules only , you can add a letter insteid

julierawe: This is how we would reach out to groups. E.g. "here are the outcomes we are looking for - do any of these not work for you?"

julierawe: Feasible work plan: something we can measure ourselves against, but is achievable.

julierawe: We will reach out as widely as we can.

julierawe: We can't promise to find all boundary cases for the initial publication.
… What would meet the needs, so we can get guidance out into the world, and keep refining it?

julierawe: Can't do hundreds of conditional tests before we publish anything.

addison: I want to caution you to not overwhelm yourselves with the volume of languages in the world. Many of the things you want to do will be similar across many languages.

<julierawe> We are approaching the last 10 minutes of the meeting and I want to be sure to talk about how we can work together

addison: Not suggesting we need tests for hundreds of things. Having a base set is a good idea.

addison: But don't want to get into a position of "we did the 5 magic languages, and your language is inconvenient" - want to be open to feedback, but don't think you have to survey the whole world before publishing.

addison: What you're tying to do is valid, but caution is to at least ask the question: "is there potentially a language/collection of languages that may test differently?"

addison: Challenge is that we're talking hypothetically now. When you get down to specifics, our group can come back to you and add value. E.g. Regarding accents in Czech, or font styles in Urdu.

addison: We can help add value with the corner cases, and connect you to the right resources.

addison: There are always cases where people will come back and say "you've tripped over this" but that doesn't mean you can't go out the door and help lots of people.

addison: What I'm guarded about is the statement "we did the 5 so we're done" but also stretching to do 5 when some things may be proven out more simply.

<Lisa> i think we do

julierawe: Rachael asks "do we have an agreed set of languages"?

julierawe: I don't think we do, so what's the next step there?

Lisa: Suggest a resolution for making a mini-process for asking language experts we know (e.g. Czech, Spanish) for review.

I think we might: Arabic, Chinese, English, Hindi, Russian and Czech as initial set

Lisa: ...and that we agree on the 5 languages, but having lots of gates in our process where we ask and make sure that people from i18n and the general public, but specifically Czech people, can provide input.

<Zakim> alastairc, you wanted to suggest approach

<Zakim> addison, you wanted to suggest some mechanisms

alastairc: What I heard addison say was that once you know the nature of the problem, e.g. clear languages/typography, then use the i18n group as a guide for what languages to use to test that thing.

addison: I think you can make progress from here; can use the horizontal review labels in GitHub to flag things for us to review.

addison: That would free you to move forward as a group, but let's do early reviews as you have work available.

addison: Have those be specific things, rather than high-level, so we can all get a sense of comfort that we know what the shape of this is and are on a good path.

<Lisa> so 5 langaues as proposed as example test/gaurdrales and asking internationalization at regular gates

addison: Maybe it'll turn out you don't need lots of languages to test lots of the guidelines.

addison: This is similar to what we do with CSS.

<Lisa> proposal: so 5 langaues as proposed as example test/gaurdrales and asking internationalization at regular gates

<JohnRochford> +1

Lisa: Can we put in a +! with the 5 languages as guardrails and ask internationalization at regular gates?

<Lisa> +1


<alastairc> +1, with the emphasis on early stages

<r12a> +1

<Bert> +1

<atsushi> +1

<julierawe> +1

<addison> +1

<xfq> +1

Julie: This has been intense but I appreciate everyone coming together. We will send you drafts when we are ready for detailed review and then have wider W3C review. I think working together through Github and early drafts.

Addison: Ask early as you can and don't be afraid to interrupt us.

<Lisa> +1 to addison

Addison: I am less happy to come in at the end. Lets try it and if we need regular calls or a liaison then we'll revisit.

Richard: I hope that our two groups will get together. It's actually 3 groups: WCAG 3, COGA and Internationalization.

Rachael: COGA is a taskforce of AG. AG will reach out about WCAG 3 topics that touch on internationalization using a similar process.

Julie: COGA work is intertwined with WCAG 3 work. We also plan on working on internationalization for Making Content Usable.

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 221 (Fri Jul 21 14:01:30 2023 UTC).


Succeeded: s/removed English/removed French and Spanish/

Succeeded: s/that things./that thing./

Maybe present: Julie, Richard

All speakers: addison, alastairc, JohnRochford, Julie, julierawe, Lisa, r12a, Rachael, Richard

Active on IRC: addison, alastairc, atsushi, Bert, JohnRochford, julierawe, Lisa, matatk, r12a, Rachael, xfq