20100811 Accessibility Working Group Creation Review Minutes

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URL: /member/wiki/20100811_Accessibility_Working_Group_Creation_Review_Minutes

These are the minutes from the special all-Member conference call to discuss the proposed creation of a new Accessibility Working Group, whose charter can be found at: /member/wiki/Accessibility_Charter.


  • Jon Ferraiolo, IBM
  • Bertrand Le Roy, Microsoft
  • David Todd, IBM
  • Mike Squillace, IBM - co-chair of Accessibility TF
  • Jon Gunderson, Univ Illinois
  • Ann Abbott (IBM)
  • Nathan Jukubiak (Parasoft)
  • Shawn Lauriat (IBM)


Mike: Rich is on vacation this week.

Jon: (explains Development Process and the role of this Creation Review phone call) OAA has a process before Working Groups are formed formally. This process includes various steps, such as publishing the proposed activities and deliverables. One of the goals is to state clearly what technologies will be included within Specifications because of the intellectual property considerations. The Members Agreement states that all members will provide royalty-free access to those technologies. In this case, with the focus on accessibility testing, my guess is that there will not be many intellectual property concerns.

Bertrand: Microsoft has some accessibility verification technologies. I will have to check on my end.

Jon: Mike, could you walk us through the charter?

(charter link: /member/wiki/Accessibility_Charter)

Mike: Task force began around Feb '09. The industry has produced lots of guidelines around accessible RIAs, including WCAG2 and 508 draft 2. In either 2011 or 2012, 508 draft 2 will require have full enactment. The guidelines have gotten more complicated. More semantic rules. More role and more info about relationships. As things have gotten more sophisticated, a lot is left to the tool vendors to interpret, but this is resulting in inconsistencies regarding what is required from an interoperability perspective and in reporting. What is needed is guidelines for interoperability and reporting, along with a rules repository. We are looking for more interactive help from tools rather than just batch reporting. All of these factors were the impetus.

Mike: Regarding scope of work, we are mostly focused on web content. The main guidelines of interest are WCAG2, HTML 4.01 and ARIA. We are chartered until end of 2011, but we expect we will want to recharter to deal with future emerging specs. Eg., HTML5 appears on track to include Web-ARIA.

Mike: Regarding deliverables, we will have a rules format 1.0 spec. That's pretty much done at this point. UofI will have an open source extension to Firebug that implements this spec. Deque is supporting some of the features. So, we expect to finish that spec soon. One thing we need to do is convert the wiki docs to HTML.

Jon: Wiki docs are OK for specs. That's what we have done for all existing official OpenAjax specs. Once finalized, I just use the wiki admin feature to make the pages read-only.

Mike: OK, we might be able to move the date up.

Mike: We will also deliver a set of Best Practices. How should a report look? Up to tool vendors, but we will provide them with guidelines, particularly for dynamic usage. We are early in the process for that, looking to complete in June, 2011.

Mike: We are also working on a rules set repository for the community to collaborate on rules. We have a good start on that. In SourceForge now. Started the review process for contributors. Probably need to add to charter that we want a review process on the open source effort. Probably have a version 1 by Oct 31. Then quarterly releases.

Mike: Note that I will not be co-chair beyond end of August. I'm changing jobs. Looking for a replacement. Rich will still be co-chair.

Jon: I think the best way to deal with this is to change the charter to identify Rich as sole chair for the time being. Then once a co-chair is defined, propose that to the WG to see if they are OK, then I'll take it to the Steering Committee.

Mike: OK

Jon: Any questions on the charter?

Mike: We'll need some time to adjust the charter because Rich is on vacation.

Bertrand: How long before voting?

Jon: Our process says at least 3 days, but that's just the minimum. How much time do you need?

Bertrand: I'll need to check and then get back to you.

Ann: How will people be notified?

Jon: I'll send email to all participants, then voting on a web form with a Yes or No button after logging in. But when this email goes out depends on how long MS needs. Hopefully, not more than a couple of weeks, and certainly less than a month.

Bertrand: Yes, I'll try to resolve in less than a month.

Jon: Any other questions?


Jon: OK, let's close the Creation Review and I'll turn over the meeting to Mike.

(rest of meeting was on ARIA technical issues and documented elsewhere)

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