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EOWG Minutes, August 24, 2001


Action Item Summary

Outreach Updates

Natasha: Discussion with new member Natasha on some issues relating to implementing accessibility across an organization.

Chuck: update on IMS Global Learning Consortium symposium

Doyle: got e-mail from SSB technologies about online seminar co-presenting with Adobe about accessibility. Would we like him to post it to the list?

Judy: Yes

Helle: Danish translation of WAI flyer is now available WAI Flyer Web site.

William: Universal declaration on Web accessibility now in 5 languages at http://uwimp.com/engpup.htm. Would appreciate any additional translations people could furnish.

JB: In Washington DC, attended and presented to NIDRR Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization (KDU) grantees. There are probably 13 KDU grantees in the US that do outreach on different topics. Judy talked to them about making their sites accessible. Also met with American Association People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Implementation Plan

JB: Lets get implementation plan moving along to get it finished in a month or so.

JB: Wants to talk about Implementation Plan section today. Wants to discuss Helle's question (see following quote) about Web design business samples and implementation plan:

I have a problem, I don't know what we mean and what we want to accomplish with this example? I have reread Carlos corporate implementation plan http://fit.gmd.de/~velasco/wai-eo/ipcorporate.xml and tried to fit this with the things I've seen and heard when talking to web designers about how they try to incorporate accessibility ideas when making websites for clients. In one company I know: A member of staff is responsible for keeping up with new activities, techniques etc. on the web (e.g. by receiving e-mails from me about WAI stuff) and reporting to the rest when necessary, they have an internal checklist to ensure that all non-textual elements gets an alt-text etc., and when talking to new clients always suggest that the website in question should comply to some set of guidelines/recommendations and provide an estimate on the extra cost for making a web site accessible. And finally respect the customer's decision about accessibility. Is a web design business and a corporate business not the same when talking about the "internal" part of a web design business? Therefore are we "only" to write about how they assure that all the web sites they make for customers complies to e.g. WCAG 1.0

WL: attempt to separate accessibility from Web design: we should find a good way to fight this. The idea that there is an added expense to do this when they would never consider it an additional expense to try three different browsers.

NL: would like to know what is going on with other authoring tools

JB: at the BC level there would be a clear difference between a Web design house and a corporation. Different business benefits might be called into the fore. Her experience is that when initial contracting has been set up people doing design and development are in close contact with the company that has contracted their services, so it might be useful within their implementation plant to recommend that designers keep feeding back importance of accessibility to contracted.

HJ: but in her experience with design companies, what actually happens is that the customer makes the decisions.

JB: but in her experience the customers sometimes learn from contractors.

NL: it is important for design companies to market the issue.

JB: they need to bring it to the table over and over and be knowledgeable about the cost benefits and so on. The ability to articulate the business case needs to go through out the whole organization in a small design.

CL: I have seen aggressive and knowledgeable consultants "educate" and influence the clients, but less aggressive (albeit knowledgeable) consultants have little effect on the clients' plans.

JB: make sure that an internal training program gives every level of developer a knowledge and comfort with the needs and process. For a Web business, promote a fairly high level of confidence with the concepts, and the ability to talk about it comfortably as well.

WL: We could advocate that a design firm doing business with a client that explicitly refuses to do accessibility (especially in areas where there is legislation about accessibility), the design company include a disclaimer or a legal statement absolving them from blame.

CV: we should include in the business plan the opinion that implementing level A adds no additional cost.

HJ: disagrees, especially if the accessibility design requires longdesc or other complex.

WL: sort of agrees.

DS: sort of disagrees.

CL: multimedia accessibility could be quite expensive.

JB: maybe we need a set of talking points about WCAG is additional benefits

CL: you mean a "quick-tips" card based on auxiliary benefits

JB: NO! NOT ANOTHER QUICK TIPS CARD (AIEEEE!!!), but something like an inset in the document perhaps.

WL: might be a good idea to extract this to a (not a quicktips) form.

CL: Haiku?

JM: We have to encourage people to go to double or triple A and if we say that single A is no cost, it is dangerous that people may stop there (since by extension the other levels must cost something.)

CV: referring to Chuck's comment about captioning audio or video: the WCAG does not require synchronized (e.g. SMIL) captioning and description, but at least just a transcript.

JB: but even doing simple transcripts can be very expensive, especially if there are many or large files.

CV: then we should emphasize that planning for accessible design at the new-design phase should cost little or nothing more.

JB: would feel very uncomfortable making a blanket statement about "no-cost" of accessible design. Lets think about the audience for the implementation plan and what can we provide to them that is important: an assumption - many web design business get handed not only new design products but redesign or "fix" existing sites. We wanted to add talking points about business case and add reassurances about this: what can we say that is helpful and realistic that can help them deal with both new and retrofit projects?

WL: if the choices you make now preclude later retrofitting of the product there will be big savings (e.g. retrofitting a table explicitly linking headers and columns/rows)

JB: Helle, will this discussion help?

HJ: I am really looking forward to getting the minutes of this discussion.

JB: when do you think you might have a draft for us to look at? Could we have it before Wednesday September 5 (4:00 PM EDT) (there is no Friday meeting next week)?

HJ: I will try.

ACTION ITEM: Helle will draft some changes to the Corporate Implementation plan (if possible before September 5)

Corporate Implementation Plan Example

JB: Carlos has done work on this.

NL: Looking at the generic recommendations, EO expects a lot of evaluation of the site before doing work: we don't do this because it takes too long and is too expensive. This is how we are doing it at HP: We created a self-evaluation checklist based on WAI. Everyone is required to look at it. We have provided good examples of sound coding and people can see evaluation and then see examples. It serves two purposes: a planning document, then an evaluation document. When they have completed the section, the must send it to us. We get all this input at the beginning of the project. Some say they can't meet guidelines in a time frame, but at least we have a record of what is being, or not being done. The developers are accountable, and we have provided them with the references and the tools, but it is their responsibility. The current IP document assumes centralized development responsibility, but this is not necessarily true even in large corporations.

WL: do we have HP's corporate policy on accessibility in our policies section?

JB: we don't actually list corporate policies.

WL: is anyone collecting them?

JB: not to my knowledge. We wanted to do this, but I can't remember who might be doing this.

JB: is what you are doing at Wells Fargo is the policy closer to centralized approach or the HP decentralized method?

DS: closer to centralized; at least, we are hoping to move to that model.

NL: With a content management system coming at HP, that may also become more realistic for us as well.

JB: Natasha, would you be willing to write up something that could be used as a generic, decentralized implementation plan?

NL: Yes, I could do that.

There was some discussion about the accessibility of W3C sites and WCAG relating to navigation.

CV: concerned about making two Implementation Plans for the corporate structure: we might have to do something like this for other plans as well: we might have too many.

JB: maybe there is a way to integrate just the massively different cases and only include those parts in the major document.

Discussion: most agree that this is a good idea.

WL: what about doing something similar to "How PWD use the Web", i.e. scenario model, e.g. Corporation x is set up this way and does it this way. Corporation y is centralized and does it this way.

JB: what if we just had one page that refers to corporate with generalized information, with sub sections dealing with centralized and decentralized models, with examples on the page.

Natasha, would you take this page and do this instead?

NL: Yes, by next meeting.

ACTION ITEM: Natasha will draft a version of the plan that includes sections relevant to decentralized corporate Web implementation plan (by Wednesday, September 5 if possible)

JB: we need someone to work on "Selecting Authoring Tool" piece.

WL: is there some advice other than ATAG (Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines)?

JB: that's for developers, but what do you tell a developer what they can or need to consider when choosing an authoring tool.

WL: the problem is that they want the name of a brand to buy that will do the job and there aren't any yet.

JB: that is an oversimplification.

HJ: the ATAG has implementation comments about authoring tool development.

JB: thinks it is out of date, and maybe not appropriate form to give to the general public.

WL: what does Judy tell people when she is asked "What should we look for?"

JB: gives a complex answer.

WL: agrees to write something on this topic.

ACTION ITEM: William will draft a section on "Selecting Authoring Tools" (by Wednesday, September 5 if possible)

HJ: are the tools localized, what languages, etc.

JB: please avoid mentioning actual products.

HJ: do the tools prompt you as you code for errors or subsequently validate?

JB: The American Library Association is preparing a list of questions that libraries can ask software vendors regarding accessible features.

CV: sometimes corporate developers have to go with one product vendor but some may allow a variety of tools.

JB: with regards to other parts of the implementation plan, we have been talking about the appendices sections, the corporate examples and Web design firm area. We don't have any input to Software Development business yet, but that may parallel the authoring tool discussion. Any takers.

Next meeting

Next teleconference call: Wednesday, September 5, 4:00 PM EDT (Boston time).

Still discussing the possibility of an October 15 face-to-face in Washington DC.

Last updated 5 September 2001 by Judy Brewer (jbrewer@w3.org)

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