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Re: Using github for sharing accessibility techniques


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Nov 30, 2015 11:36PM

Julie, it matters who hosts it because the host is the entity that affirms that these are valid solutions. If it's produced by everyone on this list collaborating as friends of mine, then the attorneys who opine on whether a corporation is protected from the risk of having done the wrong thing will say, "Well, that's interesting, but it's just what Cliff's friends say. What does the body that made the standards say?"

But if the very same people do the very same work as a working group of the WAI, those attorneys will say, "Yes, our developers and project managers can adequately reduce our risk by using these tools, because the body that developed the standards also developed these tools."

You're right—either way, the information should be the same. Either way, if the tool is used properly, project teams will quickly find known solutions when they are available and quickly recognize when they will need time and resources to develop a novel solution. Either way, the result should be an interface that is as accessible as possible.

But the corporate compliance officers and chief accessibility officers won't agree that the tool solves their problem unless it is produced by a group that a court would consider to be authoritative.

There's a lot of good information online that isn't given the respect it's due simply because it isn't developed by WAI. A simple example is the version of WCAG in plain language you can find at wuhcag.com. I can't find anything wrong with it. But corporate compliance officers won't stand for it to be used as a reference—not even as a supplemental document. Why not?

Because it isn't published by the WAI.

I'm with you—ideally, it shouldn't matter who developed it. The only thing that should matter is whether it works.

But to you and me, "works" means "leads us to the best answer as quickly as possible."

Conversely, to people documenting compliance, "works" also means "will be widely recognized as valid." And the most effective way to gain that recognition is to have the blessing of the body that developed the standards.

So ask them: "Is the word of 'Friends of Cliff' good enough? Or does it have to be the word of WAI?"

Cliff Tyllick

Sent from my iPhone
Although its spellcheck often saves me, all goofs in sent messages are its fault.

> On Nov 30, 2015, at 3:07 PM, Julie Lewis < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> With all due respect Cliff, why does it matter who hosts it?
> All developers should be treating accessibility the same way they treat
> performance and device independence. Why create a silo for it?
> Github allows for everything you describe below. Start-up cost is minimal.
> And most importantly, developers already go there to discuss and share
> technical problems and solutions. As a matter of fact it's already there:
> https://github.com/w3c/wcag/
> If the problems are being solved, then compliance and conformance to
> standards are less of an issue.
> The open source community has pushed web technology farther and faster
> than any government entity or standards body ever will.
>> From: Cliff Tyllick < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>> Julie, it would have to be hosted by an entity that nations, their
>> courts, and corporations would recognize as being authoritative.
>> Otherwise, it's just some group's notion of best practices―not a resource
>> for ensuring compliance with laws or conformance to standards.
>> So who hosts it is far more important than how it's hosted.
>> Cliff Tyllick
>>> On Nov 30, 2015, at 9:07 AM, Julie Lewis < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>>> wrote:
>>> Is there any reason the accessibility community can¹t use github for
>>> this?
>>> We could even maintain a plain language version of the WCAG
>>> recommendations there. ;^)
>>>> 2. The accessibility community should build and maintain an
>>>> application any Web professional can use to discover known
>>>> techniques for producing usable and accessible interactions in
>>>> the presentation technology they are using. The same application
>>>> would allow developers to submit new techniques they have used to
>>>> solve a previously unsolved problem or to improve upon an
>>>> existing solution. Each technique submitted should be specific;
>>>> include appropriate examples of its implementation; be tagged
>>>> according to the interface or interaction (form, text input,
>>>> error checking, labels for fieldsets, navigation menus, and so
>>>> on), the presentation technology (HTML, PDF, XHTML, Word for
>>>> Windows, Open Office, Drupal, WordPress, Plone, Bootstrap.js, and
>>>> so on), the presentation environments in which it works (video,
>>>> audio, wearables, smart phones, large monitors, haptic
>>>> interfaces, and others), the disability addressed, the relevant
>>>> WCAG success criteria, and other relevant features if I've missed
>>>> any; and be linked to closely related solutions, relevant
>>>> tutorials, explanations of the underlying principles, and the
>>>> like.
> > > >