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Re: Fixing WAI's writing style Does WCAG require ...


From: Chaals McCathie Nevile
Date: Nov 20, 2015 11:22PM

TL;DR: You need to make concrete proposals for changes to text, because
WAI cannot just hire a writer to fix stuff for you. So file bugs against

On Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:12:07 +0100, Chagnon | PubCom.com
< <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Paul Adam wrote:
> "WCAG indeed has many loopholes."
> In a way, yes, you're right about that.
[WCAG is badly written, which causes problems, and WAI should hire
professional writers who understand clear communication, regulation, and

I agree that plain language is important, and a standard should be as
clear as possible.

But asking WAI to hire professional writers is like asking WebAIM to fix
the web's accessibility. There isn't a clear way for it to happen.

WAI is part of W3C, which brings a certain amount of funding. A lot of the
7 WAI staff are employed on, and paid for by, research contracts with the
European Union or US government in some form or other.

W3C specifications are made by practitioners, who volunteer their time to
W3C. Many of them are organisations - TPG, Deque, Yandex, Microsoft,
Pearson, SSB, RNIB, and others you may know which also join W3C, meaning
they pay membership fees which provide the funding I mentioned earlier.

The process to make W3C specifications is roughly as follows:
- Identify something people agrees needs to be clearly specified as a
standard for the Web
- Organise a Working Group to develop a W3C Recommendation.
- That group proposes a series of drafts, which are public and meant to
get very broad public feedback. Most groups, including all WAI groups, now
do all their work in public.
- The group (remember, basically volunteers) respond to feedback, to
improve the documents.
- Convince Tim Berners-Lee that they have done the best job they could
with the resources they had.

If you want better documents, it is important to file comments explaining
the problem, as well as outlining solutions.

Every "W3C Recommendation" has a section called "Status of This Document"
right near the front, that says how to file comments on it. Please do so.

Note that for some time WAI has resisted making substantive changes to
WCAG 2.0

One way to change that would be to start filing bugs if WCAG 2.0 is
ambiguous, or its requirements do not achieve the goals, or the writing is



Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
<EMAIL REMOVED> - - - Find more at http://yandex.com