Policies Updating

From Education & Outreach

Updating Policies Relating to Web Accessibility


Existing (old) pages:

Current work:




The page is a factual listing only; it does not include any commentary, editorial, summary, or interpretation. It lists formal government documents that clarify policy. It does not list things like how to implement policy.

[[ Should we consider including local industry policies too where applicable? Eg ABA Accessibility {Andrew} ]]

Use Case examples

  • Writing country policy - Policy-maker's assistant is researching policies in other countries in order to help draft a policy for his country.
  • Expanding product market - Project manager is in charge of a project to expand market into other countries. She needs to learn what web accessibility regulations there are in those other countries that apply to her web-based product.
  • Educating - Speaker/trainer will be giving course in a new country and wants to know what the policies are in that country.
    • within a country, speakers/trainers would also need to know about any local state/province legislation/policies
  • Developing standards - For example, like participants of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC35 User interfaces, want quick information on specific countries' policies.
  • Developing organizational policy - Executive is researching governmental policies to inform development of a policy for her organization.

Usage examples

  • Quickly checking one - Need to get a quick idea of the policies in a specific country, maybe your own or another.
  • Getting big picture - Need an overall picture of policies in countries similar to mine, and don't have time to delve into details. Or, want to know which countries have adopted WCAG 2.0.
  • Researching one in detail - Want to learn a lot about the policies and related issues in a specific country or region.
  • Comparing - Accessibility/policy/legal expert/researcher/marketer wants to compare and contrast the situation between countries with similar and/or disparate political/legal/socioeconomic/etc. systems.



Design, UI & technical:

  1. consider minor tweaks to user interface - mostly just template for listings and maybe page organization (possibly add expand-collapse)
  2. move to GitHub to enable direct contributions with moderation


  1. updates that we already know about (and from other listings?)
  2. pursue existing contacts for updates
  3. detective work to update broken links
  4. invite broad community to contribute
  5. research harder content updates

Tasks for 1,2,a,b above:

  1. Review current format for listings and decide if want to change the template for content and/or for formatting -- including how to indicate which countries are updated in the live page, and other open issues below
  2. EOWG review
  3. Set up in GitHub
  4. Decide how to process updates -- e.g., approvals
  5. Update <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/Policy/updates.html">Submitting Updates to Policies Relating to Web Accessibility</a>.
  6. Update known info, e.g., from <a href="https://www.w3.org/Search/Mail/Public/search?type-index=wai-eo-editors&index-type=t&keywords=policies&search=Search">sent to wai-eo-editors</a>, <a href="#otherlists">related lists</a>, and previous <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/policy-updates">draft updates</a>
  7. Contact specific people about providing updated data for country of their interest.


New Open Issues

Will users want to sort / search by:

  • Is it an accessibility policy, vs non-discrimination policy, vs procurement policy etc.
  • Does it apply to web only or is it broader?
  • Does it reference WCAG directly or through another mechanism (eg. copy&paste)?
  • Does it use WCAG as-is, or some derivative of WCAG? 1.0 vs 2.0?

I think there are use-cases for sorting according to these types of attributes. For example, I want to develop a procurement policy and want to see what's out there. Or I want to see policies for WCAG 2. {Shadi}

Content and Format [previous EOWG suggestions]

  • Historical info, broken links - create a historical page that starts with the current live page. Leave the old URI for broken links in the historical page ("Important Document Title [formerly at http://www...]"). Do not include old URIs in the main page. For broken links in the main page: if a major document, then leave the information unlinked; if its a less important document, then remove it from the main page (and leave it in the historical page). [JB OK Oct 2012]
  • Limit information / Be very selective in the information - currently some sections are too overwhelming - especially the "Additional Information" sections. Example that would stay: Access Board's Section 255 FAQ; example of what might go: Attorney General's speech on Section 508. Include the most current and authoritative policy information, don't include historical material and tangential material — it's not worth the clutter and potential confusion.
  • Deep linking - If only a specific section of a big doc is relevant to web accessibility, provide the link directly to that section if possible - along with a link to overall document, e.g., <a href="fake link">Overall Disability Regulation</a>, particularly <a href="fake link">Section 57: Web Accessibility</a>.
  • sub-headings:
    • keep same headings.
    • always have "Legislation:" and "Jurisdiction (Ministry, Department, Agency):"
      • [open] consider putting "not applicable" if we know there are none (like Denmark); "unknown" if we don't know. currently in both cases we put a dash (-)
    • only include "Relevant documents:" and "Additional information:" when there are items under them.
    • [open - some suggest] consider marking up these as headings - note that some introduce lists and some are inline with one bit of information
      [List of one item is permissible (and preferable for consistency) IMHO - Andrew]

UI (user interface)

  • Any changes to <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/Policy/updates.html">Submitting Updates to Policies Relating to Web Accessibility</a> ? beyond adding GitHub info
  • [open] How to indicate that countries are updated in the live page? <a href="http://www.w3.org/2011/08/05-eo-minutes">EOWG 5 August</a> discussed various options, e.g., "Updated: January 2005 (Reviewed: January 2011)". EOWG mostly happy to leave for editors' discretion. Some points:
    • One date easier to process than two different dates. But cases below would need two different dates:
    • Use case: I put together a presentation in 20XX and I copied the info for Acme country from this Policies page into a slide and handout. I'm updating the presentation and want to quickly see if there is new information for Acme, see what date the info was updated.
    • Issue: We update a country's information in 2003. In 2011 we do a thorough check and find that there is no new information to list. We want to communicate that although the info we list hasn't changed, it is up-to-date as far as we know.
  • [open] How to make it easy to find references to WCAG 2? Maybe just put "(WCAG 2.0)" with the Country list, as in <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/policy-updates#toc">New Zealand in the draft page</a>. [EOWG not keen on] This is a thorny issue. For example, what about policies that reference "WCAG" without a version number, or even "WAI guidelines" or "W3C standards"? What about less officially references to WCAG 2.0? Explaining these could get into commentary. Maybe a separate list of "adopted or referred to WCAG 2.0ish"?
  • [done] Add "back to top" links
  • [suggested] Consider expand-collapse functionality

Front matter (Disclaimer, Status and Updates, Introduction)

  • [suggested] Edit and re-organize the front matter.
  • [open] keep "countries on this page" and the abbreviations at the top?
  • [open] Also suggest consider sticking the disclaimer at the end, with a link to it from the intro, to keep the opening tone positive ('You will find what you're looking for here, or at least a very good starting point' rather than negative 'You will not find what you're looking for here. Go away.')? At least it should live after the intro, and I suggest also that the intro should live before the status and updates... (lm)
    [slh: need to consider work flow for repeat users (who don't want to scroll past through long intro each time — expand-collapse might help with that), and related issues (e.g., probably need some disclaimer info front and center]


  • [suggested] Include UN Convention and maybe other global things - plus, if a country has ratified UN convention, then list that in the country's section
  • [open] have a separate e-mail list for updates? (a benefit: people could check for updates not yet posted - which I hope won't be an issue in the future)

Project Plan

Project plan to update Web Policies page

Other Notes

Other policy-related lists:

Archived Info