WAI PA WG Conference Call

Thursday, 14 January 1999 4:00 - 5:30 PM EST

Table of contents

  1. Participants
  2. Action Items Summary
  3. Support for cognitive disabilities
  4. Needed definitions: Complex tables
  5. Renaming the guidelines document
  6. Emphasizing universal design
  7. Priorities and ratings
  8. Next meeting


Chairs: GV and CL - Gregg Vanderheiden and Chuck Letourneau
Scribes: CL and WC - Wendy Chisholm
JW - Jason White
DD - Daniel Dardailler
IJ - Ian Jacobs

Action item summary

  1. GV and WC to post to wai-gl a summary of the issues still open for discussion in regards to cognitive disabilities.
  2. GV and WC to post to wai-gl proposals for how to handle closed issues 2-4 (Definitions for tables, Renaming of the guidelines document, and Emphasizing universal design) in the guidelines.

1. Support for cognitive disabilities.

WC: began walkthough

CL: do we actually mention or make it clear that some cognitive disabilities requirements are covered? I think it is technically covered, but maybe unclear in the language.

DD: the issue should be closed. Foreign language issue is a separate issue.

JW: closed, we may never resolve the fact that some pages may never be fully understandable.

CL: also think it should be closed… although it may come back to haunt us.

GV: closed. We cannot legislate the level of content.

DD: Keep foreign language markup as an open issue.

GV - Should B.3.1 be a p1?

JW - How do we determine if people follow the guideline?

GV - We rate things based on need not how easy to judge if someone complies. What makes it a p1, is that if it isn't done, some people won't be able to access the site.

DD - For people who don't have the vocabulary, the author will need to use longer sentences. This then increases the time for others with the vocabulary to read the page. It may not be better written, but written with simpler words.

JW - loss of precision.

GV - But remember that it says "as simple as possible." Therefore, for a physics site, a description could be written that is as simple as possible but still presented at a high level, thus it would comply with the guideline.

DD - However, take the word ontology and try to paraphrase it. It is hard to do.

GV - If can't say it in "simpler" terms, then use it.

IJ - This is similar to a debate in the HTML4 group regarding ABBR and ACRONYM. The difference between abbreviation and acronym are not clear from English language dictionaries. The group decided it didn't need to define the difference. They left both in and don't say when to use it.

CL - On one level agree strongly should be a 2 or 3, on the other hand, level 1 would say "here is our support for cognitive disabilities."

WC - perhaps we ought to make B.3.2 (use graphics to facilitate understanding) a P1. The use of graphics might make some of the language used on a page easier to understand and we could decrease the perception that we are "anti-graphics."

GV - Symbols and signs can be harder to interpret than words. We can't require them to use graphics.

JW - Would p1 make it impossible for an author to follow? However, even if they follow it still might not be accessible. how do we prove that?

GV - An author can put alt-text on pictures and still be incomprehensible. Following doesn't guarantee access, but not following doesn't.

IJ - variable priorities? if important info, then p1, otherwise p2.

WC - will include in summary

All: We agree on the guidelines as written but disagree on the priorities relating to the cognitive issues of clear language and inclusion of graphics.

/* @@ WC and GV to collect comments and put out a question to the mailing list. briefly - we are concerned that there is not a p1 checkpoint specifically for cognitive disabilities but we think that the issues are covered. During the teleconference we discussed B.3.1 and B.3.2 as possible checkpoints to raise to P1 level. Moving B.3.1 to a P1 creates a problem with how to judge compliance, B.3.2 is a p3 because it is not clear that a site could be conveyed iconically. We might want to give one or both a variable priority, along the lines of, "If the information is important to understanding the page, make it a P1 otherwise P2." */

2. Needed definitions: Complex tables

CL: read Charles McCathie-Nevile's note

Guideline A13.5: Consensus, after much discussion, that the priority as it exists in the guidelines (P2) is appropriate.

Issue Closed: GV & WC will change the priority on complex tables to 1 and use Daniel's language from October 23 message.

2.a Resolved the related issue about complex FRAMEs; the current checkpoints cover the issues.

3. Renaming the guidelines document

/* The framework of the names for the WAI set of guidelines was determined by the Coordnation Group. They chose, "W3C <working group chosen phrase> Accessibility Guidelines." */

/* There was much discussion about the terms "site" and "content." It was felt that "site" implies server issues. After much discussion it was felt that the guidelines address making "content" accessible and therefore it would be appropriate to use in the title. However, it might not be as marketable as "site." We all agreed to send the following two choices to the list for comment:

W3C Web Site Accessibility Guidelines or W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines */

4. Emphasizing universal design

GV: Don't mention it explicitly in the guidelines but put in the other reasons as good ancillary reasons for compliance. We have no mandate telling us to write these guidelines for these other reasons, but it is good to point out.

DD: agree UD is loaded. universal access is favorable. implies operability (W3C mandate) so what we're doing already.

GV issue is: this document outlines what we do for accessibility which means that certain laws that will kick in. If we state that our purpose is for making device independent pages, then the accessibility laws can not apply.

IJ: Wendy and I started writing some introductory text for the guidelines to explain what the guidelines are for and how they should be used. We chose device independence as an overarching philosophy for the document. Is it ok to use that kind of approach globally but not specifically?

GV: Cconcur if disability is always mentioned first and device independence is never the singular reason for anything. The secondary argument (device indie) strengthen the document.

@@ IJ and WC - our text ought to reflect clarifying relationship between device indie and accessibility. if authors keep device indie in mind they will better understand why the guidelines are what they are.

CL: Closed.

5. Priorities and ratings

IJ: in prose, may want to emphasize how ratings were developed, including impact issues.

GV: ratings only on checkpoints, single rating, based on impact.

DD: only have 2 levels?

JW: no

GV: no. very clearly 3. if only 1 and 2, 3's be ignored. The current approach is very powerful, and being used in telecom.

/* Concensus on : Ratings only on checkpoints… not on guidelines… a single priority rating based on impact. */

Next meeting:

next week. Same time, same channel.