[A11ybok] A (Hopefully Helpful) Step Back For Perspective & Clarity
bill at disability.org
Thu Mar 15 12:49:10 EDT 2012
I've just subscribed to this list. Thanks for your efforts Karl.
[ As a quick personal intro, my name is Bill Shackleton. I share info and resources on twitter under CRPDisabilities, and since leaving the computer industry for the disability field almost 30 years ago, I've been involved in a number of issues tackling a wide range of barriers. ]
Unfortunately I missed this year's CSUN and although I've read the blog post and this list's archives, I still have a few questions and comments that might help me to fill in the blanks and/or foster some discussion in the spirit of your comment:
"Respectful disagreement is encouraged. That's how consensus is achieved."
I'm responding to, and excerpting, comments from this list and the blog post but didn't catch who said what for citing sources.. except this, where the blog post begins:
"It is now a well-accepted assumption that, in order to move forward, accessibility needs a unified set of resources that would be reliable, comprehensive, and easy to consume for users of all levels of proficiency in accessibility. There have been many discussions around this idea for a while. Yet, so far, it does not exist"
I'm a little unclear about this. It seems that if we're talking about a reliable set of resources, then wouldn't that be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI? From THE authoritative and most reliable source (ie the standard itself), you can also find getting started guides, how people with disabilities use the web, corporate business case development tools, policies from governments around the world, etc. etc. ..and expressed for different audiences whether techie, policy wonk or business manager.
As for specific in-and-out web developer questions, you can quickly filter the existing BoK by technology (flash, pdf, smil, css..), success criteria, and technique type at http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref
"The WAI material, despite their efforts to guide the newcomers, isn’t exactly appropriate for what I would call “occasional practitioners”. That is, people who punctually need to solve an accessibility issue, but don’t have the time or will to go through the painfully slow process of getting the whole picture"
In what way is it not appropriate? I suppose I need to understand more specifically. As noted above, no-one has to go through a 'slow process of getting the whole picture" at all. To 'punctually solve an accessibility issue' you can either go to your own quick reference tailored in 5 seconds to your own technical and policy environment (success criteria level), select to see every technique on one large page and search it for your specific issue, or use any of a number of other tools at your disposal on the WAI site.
"second order of business, IMO, should be for us to brainstorm
funding opportunities. This would also necessitate a discussion of
scope, but I think both discussions probably should remain at a high
There has already been considerable funding by organizations big (Google, Adobe, Microsoft,..) and small - including my own modest enterprise, ERamp, Inc. (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#acknowledgments) - to developing the standard and producing all of the resources, including what appears to be aimed at here.
"Regarding this list, specifically, I'd like to strongly discourage
Why? Is there an additional cost to this? I ask because, as you may know if you follow my CRPDisabilities twitter account, I default to open sharing of information unless there's a compelling reaon to lock something down. It seems to me that the more lurkers, the higher the probability of someone chiming in with a strond idea, excellent resource, etc.
"I said no to Wikipedia a few times, let me clear
that up by saying, that having the final product would be a great
idea. However, starting there is maybe not the best idea"
Why not? Although (unless convinced otherwise by responses to this email) I believe that the single repository for A11yBoK should be - is - w3c/wai, I don't see any reason for not leveraging the powerful and effective wikipedia collaboration machinery for iterating up to the final product you envision.
"So, curation and collection of links are very useful, but we also need a significant effort in the production of resources, for all kinds of needs."
Could you please be more specific? What, exactly, are the resources that we need that aren't on WAI? I suspect that whatever they are has probably already been created based on a real need.. which comes back to curation.
"In addition to methodology, what would we like to accomplish, and by what date?"
I agree with this.. in fact, I'd want to know what we'd like to accomplish before thinking about methodology. I would suggest, as a clarifying exersize and a way forward that we do a simple subtraction:
Clarified statement of precisely what problem is being addressed
Already existing resources on WAI to address this problem
So far, as can be seen by my responses above, Gap Analysis = 0
Once we get a clearer sense of the scope, quality and size of the gap (through our continuing discussions), THEN we could entertain options such as contributing to WAI to expand solutions, contributing to wikipedia to perhaps create a front-end ui pointing to existing BoK resources across the web, creating a federated solution, creating a permanent home, or some other ideas.. THEN look at whether, how much, and from where needed resources could be tapped.
Hope this is seen as contributing discussion and movement, and not contrarian.
"We are called to be architects of the future..
Not its victims" R. Buckminster Fuller
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