Welcome to the WCAG 2.0 Community of Expertise (CoE)

Author: 
Raven Calais - AGIMO
Category: 
The Department of Finance Archive

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It has been a busy few months for the Accessibility and Style team. We are a small team of two – Jacqui & Raven – who endeavour to bring you all you need to know about accessibility of government websites. Since the endorsement of Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) for government websites in late 2009, we’ve been working very hard in planning the implementation to the new web standard, developing the National Transition Strategy (NTS) and working one-on-one with agencies to find solutions to common (and sometimes uncommon) accessibility issues.

So, we’re here at last...and we’re blogging, or blegging as it may be, and we’d like to invite you to participate in the Community of Expertise. That means sharing your knowledge by writing a blog post, commenting on others, or nominating a topic for discussion.

What it’s all about

The NTS discussed the creation of a Community of Expertise (CoE) to encourage collaboration in developing advice, techniques and resources to implement WCAG 2.0. For government, this means we share the cost and resource burdens of conformance, we get consistency in the application of web standards, we can centralise some training and education, and we get the benefit of sharing our common issues.  For the private sector, it means they can be involved in discussions on policies and procedures, and through this, may gain a better understanding of the issues facing government agencies. For accessibility experts, disability service organisations and peak bodies, the CoE provides an opportunity to promote understanding of the varied needs of all people using government websites and services.

How it works

Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing a range of information on WCAG 2.0, how to implement the standard and general accessibility advice. Some of the discussion will begin in the CoE, and once formalised and agreed, will move to the Web Guide (previously named Web Publishing Guide). This process will give web managers and accessibility experts opportunity to comment on the advice and guidance they will be asked to implement; and will help ensure everyone is interpreting accessibility guidance in a similar manner. Within the Community of Expertise, government web managers and accessibility experts work toward creating content to be approved and published on the Web Guide. To facilitate this, AGIMO and invited experts will raise issues for debate and comment by CoE Members, which will form the basis of future accessibility guidance. Working Groups will also be established by AGIMO to solve complex whole of government technical issues and Mitigation Projects. CoE Members will create and or contribute to Tools, Techniques and Templates, before accessibility advice is amalgamated and published. Overseeing this work, the WCAG 2.0 Reference Group representatives will monitor progress to WCAG 2.0 and discuss collaborative policy frameworks.

How to get involved

This is where “begging” meets “blogging”: we want to hear from people (organisations can’t speak – people can) with an interest in accessibility matters. We all know a blog is only as good is its last post, and without involvement from CoE members, we won’t get very far. There are many ways to contribute:

  • Comment on blog posts and provide your expertise to assist one another;
  • Nominate a topic for the CoE to commence discussing (this might be something that you need help with);
  • Nominate to write a ‘Guest Post’ on the blog if you have specific expertise that you want to share (an example might be on ‘closed captioning’).

Topics of discussion might include a particular accessibility issue you are experiencing or have recently overcome; questions or comments on web technologies (e.g. HTML, Flash, and JavaScript); WCAG 2.0 techniques or success criterion; or even principles of accessibility in general. Guest posts can be from anyone, about anything (so long as it’s about accessibility). We’ll invite some members to post, but don’t be shy in raising your hand too. The only real condition of guest posts (or comments) is that we will not allow commercial endorsements. Feel free to promote your good work, but leave the business of selling goods or services to your website. Any posts should observe the  AGIMO blog guidelines.  For all the other advice about belonging to the CoE, see our Terms of Reference (RTF 100KB). Down the track, we will look at more ways to foster discussion and debate through online collaboration tools. We are also planning in-person information sessions so stay tuned for those details. In the meantime, send your nominations for blog topic or  to wcag2@finance.gov.au or comment on the blog.

 

Comments on this blog are now closed. Please let us know if you would like to discuss this post or have any general comments

Comments (78)

Our approach to the "does it / doesn't it fall under WCAGs domain" question has typically been - if its HTML rendered in the browser we will apply WCAG to it.

We tend not to consider the internal versus external argument i.e. does the content sit inside or outside of the departments firewall, because we haven't seen that as having any relevance to how web content / websites / web applications should be designed and built.

For non web-based content or desktop applications we have used other, ISO standards to perform evaluations which generally focus on the effect on users which is quite a shift in thinking from WCAG.

ARIA is something we have been investing more time in recently but the difficulty is finding good, working examples of it in use but that will come when more developers adopt the standard.

I would really like to hear about more areas of Government and their approach to applying WCAG, where it gets applied, what distinctions or exceptions are made, what are the roadblocks people face? Perhaps this is a blog post topic for the future or perhaps even a survey?

Cheers,
Kym

Raven: It's great to see so much progress and active participation towards the NTS, especially at this early stage. The CoE is an excellent initative to share ideas through the process.

RE: people involved with ATAG and WAI-ARIA: we're involved in these processes as a W3C member and I'd be happy to provide information on this. I'll be starting a regular posted in the 'new media' section of the Media Access Australia website soon to try and simplify some of the important access implications of the upcoming ATAG 2.0 standard, WAI-ARIA and HTML 5 which may also be useful to the NTS.

Again, great to see things off to such a good start.

Scott Hollier
Media Access Australia
www.mediaaccess.org.au

I'd be interested in finding out who is taking the lead on managing this in each agency and why?
For example:
Is it your Communications/Branding group because they own your website?;
Your IT Architecture/Infrastructure group because they control your IT?;
Your Human Resources group because they would deal with any action in the Human Rights Commission?

I think this is a good initiative. I'm an accessibility evangelist after having spent a couple of hours observing a blind person navigate her way through a website we were testing at the National Library of Australia. I was in awe of her ability to understand the reader - my ears were certainly not attuned to the speed with which the reader was transcribing the site. I was also embarrassed when she stumbled over certain points of inaccessibility in the website. If ever there was any proof of the need for web standard accessibility, that was it.

Hi Jacqui & Raven,

Great blog and a great idea.

The provision of a centralised point and service that advises government on WCAG 2.0 obligations, as-well as creating a resource for the Web Managers of government to help navigate their way through the complex framework and 100s of pages that is WCAG2.0 will be a great resource.

I look forward to following it and hopefully picking up some new ideas/information and pitching in where I can.

Cheers,

De-leon
Department of Innovation

Great .. but what does acronym WCAG stand for???????????????????????????????

Great blog! Thanks.

I am currently going through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and noticed that all recommendations are mainly for the web sites. In my organisation we develop a lot of web applications for internal and external clients. I do believe that the web applications have to be accessible and WCAG should apply to complex online systems as well as static web sites.

Regards,

Maria

Great to see the blog up and running, good stuff Jacqui and Raven. Please note that all my comments are my own and don't represent WA Government.

Maria, a good point, I agree that it is appropriate for applications about to be developed to meet accessibility standards, the issue is with existing applications...do you mandate that existsing online apps be retrofitted (timely, costly, who pays, do they do this immediately or over time, all at once or in stages, etc etc) or do you have to put up with the in-accessible apps until you can replace them or their contract is up for renewal? This is an issue we have discussed within WA Government and it doesn't have an easy or quick to implement solution.

De-leon, yep, I hope this blog takes off and I can use it (and contribute when I can) to discuss accessibility issues with peers in Government and Industry alike.

Basil
WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Accessibility has come a long way over the years both in its recognition for existence and as a mandatory test requirement prior to a website deployment. I eagerly await the day application developers produce a product which doesn't need major manipulation either through pure coding or CSS before a reasonable level of compliance is achieved.

Great to see the CoE beginning to take shape. I'm a part of the Accessibility Team @ DIAC and we are so pleased to know there will be some support out there when we hit the tough issues of which there are many.

A bit like Maria (comment above) we are heavily involved in trying to increase the accessibility of some very rich, complex web applications and have plenty of questions that will be great to have a community to bounce off.

Will there be an open forum we can use to post and discuss topics rather than waiting for a particular topic to arise on the blog?

Thanks to Raven & Jacqui.

Regards,
Kym Dusting
@kymdusting

This is really good. A thought might be to break up the accessibility into manageable chunks, eg audio visual, images, providing multiple formats of the same content, portable devices, training material etc

Then those with expertise in a particular area don't get their message caught up in the general discussion.

Good luck with it all.

I would like to address another issue here – accessibility of desktop applications. It is always seen as a poor cousin, never enough time, budget or resources to make desktop applications accessible. Most of those applications are for internal users so the pressure to make it accessible is not that high.
Yes, it is controlled environment and the department will provide a person with special needs with all necessary assistive technology products – keyboards, screen enlargers, etc.
But really, even a simple thing like a keyboard access can make your life and life of the person sitting next to you so much easier.

Maria,

That's a great point - and an issue I'm working on at the moment.

Ideally (and unfortunately I do not work in an ideal situation), accessibility would be understood to be the responsibility of everyone involved in the development process.

...And as such, it should be a part of a graphic designer's thinking when a colour scheme is being developed.

As we know, designing and developing to be accessible is far less expensive than retrofitting accessibility - but I think this is also the case within the development/release process itself.

For example: Leaving accessibility testing until after ICT have produced a test version of the product may be too late to realise the full benefits of early engagement...

By providing our peers with the tools and knowledge they need to embed accessibility into their work practices will assist us all in the long run.

Maybe, as part of this CoE, we can discuss how best to assist non-professionals in this area?

Peter

Congrats on a well overdue and exciting initiative - both NTS and the CoE. Good to see stakeholders like the MAA getting involved as well as Agency take up of the CoE offer already! If nothing else it highlights how active and impassioned this community is going to be.

Being on the front line of Web Accessibility in an Australian Government agency, its something you can never stop thinking about. I'd love to see, (and putting my money where my mouth is, being involved with and driving) discussions around anything and everything - even topics which don't usually come up such as the potential ROI and flow on benefits for any eGov / Gov2.0 adoption of WCAG, specialised WCAG applications such as SharePoint how-tos' (how many of us face those bug bears), Intranets, mobile access, remote community issues, archive / non-compliant material, Web 3.0 issues, tips and tricks, writing accessible friendly content and dare I say it, standards development around WCAG implementations for WoG in Australia. ;) (Standard Aust. Govt print or braille CSS anyone? :) ) And that despite it looking daunting, accessibility is often a case of KISS and common sense.

Not to mention sharing lessons learned, challenges, and knowing that those of us who have to work with WCAG daily in Government aren't alone.

Can't wait!

Maria and Chris have both posted comments about applications that strike a chord with me.

Applications that provide spatial data are of particular interest as I will need to be advising our mapping specialists what WCAG 2.0 means for them.

It's great that the Strategy has included spatial data as a 'special case', but I was wondering how things were progressing with the establishment of the working group/technical project?

Many congratulations to Jacqui and Raven,
This a great way to raise awareness of the importance of accessibility and provide information that will help people understand what is needed to make sites more accessible.
I have been recently looking at the accessibility of navigation drop down menus for keyboard and screen reader users. Information about the research and discussion available at http://www.dingoaccess.com/accessibility/accessing-nav-drop-downs/
It seems to me we need to find practical and acceptable methods that can be generally agreed on. I would love to hear more from developers and non-mouse web users.

It's great to see these discussions taking place and also that accessibility is finally being taken seriously in Government. As well as the high level policy talk and deciding on ways forward I would also like to see some more basic discussions and help taking place as Chris has also pointed out, sometimes you just want to know the best approach or what everyone else is doing.

I'm really looking forward to the talk.

Raven,

When will the PDF guidelines be available? According to the AGIMO website "The PDF Accessibility Review report is being finalised and is due for release mid-2010." http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/PDF_Accessibility_Review.html

Re comment by Gordon about aural css. The aural media type is now deprecated in CSS 2, presumably because of a lack of support. It's been a while since I researched it, but last time I did, no assistive technologies supported it. The speech media type is reserved in CSS 2.1but there are no properties or values defined for it.

Reporting related question - The NTS says

'AGIMO will provide a reporting system similar to that used to report progress of implementation under the Internet Protocol version 6.'

Is it possible to get an example of a submission to this reporting system? Or a more detailed description of what we will be expected to report on at the end of Phase 1, than that already provided?

Sourcing information from business owners will chew up a lot of my time so it would be good to know what format I need to supply it to AGIMO in.

Thanks

Hi all

Just wondering how othter departments are addressing the issue of funded org WCAG 2.0 compliance.

FaHCSIA funds thousands of NGOs that may or may not have 'government information' on their websites. The scope is too big to manage for Phase 1, so will possibly have to be addressed later via contract and funding agreement processes.

Thoughts?

To my knowledge/advice given to me (and I'm no legal eagle mind you):

If you fund a website, then you are responsible for the content on it, including how that content meets any legal requirements including DDA / WCAG. So a Dept. would be at risk of exposure/non-compliance if funded sites are considered out of scope for phase 1?

I took the lead in my org simply because it needed to be done and as web coordinator I wanted to have an integral part in the development of the accessibility framework for our web/intranet environment. I am in the Information Services team but our approach to web content accessibility is influenced by a variety of areas within the organisation; IT for infrastructure implications & technology, Communications for branding and style and Company Secretary for compliance being the main ones. Like Maria, I've reviewed WCAG 2.0 and assessed our current online environments against those guidelines. At the moment I am developing a draft accessibility framework for the organisation that will sit under the overarching organisational online governance frameworks. If there are other organisations out there that have completed this process or are in the midst of it too, I'd like to hear your experiences.

Hi all

How are agencies approaching the funding challenges of the strategy?

It's becoming very clear that implementation of WCAG 2.0 will have a financial impact on the entire Department - not just Comms and ICT.

Just to keep people in the mood...

This is the theme song for WCAG 2.0. Accessibility consultant David MacDonald wrote it during a Face to Face WCAG meeting in Los Angeles. He did the instruments, programming, vocals and mixing in his home studio. I don't imply any endorsement of David's business here - it's just for fun while we're all thinking serious here. It's also a little inspiring :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IWBT4Tk3t0&feature=player_embedded

This is very reminiscent of conversations I was having with NOIE in the early 90's, advocating that they consider how to address Web App (not just brochureware pages) compliance for accessibility. The work done in the US on S508 compliance is also a useful reference point for people to consider with regard to accessibility requirements (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_508_Amendment_to_the_Rehabilitation...). S508 works in much the same was as the Disability Discrimination Act by allowing legal remedy to persons unable to access site contents because of poor accessibility standards compliance. Yes, Agencies can be sued if accessibility barriers exist.

Good to see this COE up and running, but where is the real collaboration meant to be taking place beyond a single blog post? See Kerry Webbs request above also for a defined collab space, that is OPEN (not on a closed Govdex space).

Can anyone recommend web accessibility checking tools? I've used http://www.achecker.ca/checker/index.php which is the public checker and enables single page html checks. What others are out there that are being used to identify non or partial conformance (ref: NTS; chapter 5, specifically 1.2 WCAG 2.0 Conformance Check)

Tools we use in WA Gov:

http://www.totalvalidator.com/validator/ValidatorForm

http://wave.webaim.org/

http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/

Note I use these as one part of a suite of assessments for a website review. Hope this helps.

Does anyone have tips on optimising RTF format? Many documents come out as ridiculous sizes which is a problem in itself. I've done some searching but have not found anything particularly useful.

Video streaming... it's not something we do currently but is a possibility in the future. What are the implications for accessibility? I'd be interested to hear from those of you that are broadcasting/publishing content via video streaming and those who have opted for a YouTube style example. How does this affect accessibility for you? This brings me to another question - publishing video content via YouTube, for example, content is hosted and delivered outside the control of the dept web environment, is the dept responsible for accessibility here too? Are there any Better Practice guidelines about this specfically?

While I agree with both Raven and Lamont regarding thinking about the purpose and intent of providing alternative formats I can really empathise with Jennifer because we often are faced with the same issues. We have a publishing process in place but that still does not stop people going out and commissioning reports without our knowledge and then expecting it to be published online. There are issues with changing authored/commissioned documents i.e. removing images impacts on the integrity of the document. Also isn't the idea that not only are we providing an alternative shouldn't we be trying to provide an equivalent product because shouldn't those people be entitled to receive the same as everyone else?

Don't get me wrong here, I want to provide alternatives and I want people to be able to access our websites but sometimes it isn't always as easy as it sounds. I think we have a real opportunity to iron out some of these issues in this forum and provide a way forward for all government sites.

I am a member of a project team as part of the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Executive Masters (Public Administration) program (www.anzsog.edu.au) and am seeking assistance in our project titled:

"Economic value of open access to government-held data and information"

We would greatly appreciate it if those who work in Government could either complete our short survey (link below) or provide any Australian or NZ Government reports or data that have investigated the economic value of open access information. (Email is within the survey)

The critical question is: Can you provide evidence (that can be translated to an economic benefit) of making government data/information available to the public? Or, do you have examples of where open access to government data has had an economic of flow-on benefit?

The survey can be found at this link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/infosurvey

I look forward to your responses

Archiving and decommissioning content - NTS, chapter 4. Scope - Retrospectivity and Legacy Content.

Does Accessibility compliance apply to archived content? I'm referring to content that has been reviewed and and fits the criteria for archiving or decommissioning, clearly identified as such and remaining available online.

Some thoughts please? Based on WCAG 2.0, are captions (open or closed) mandatory for Audio Video content? Whilst I think that captions are the preferred option, I am not sure if they are mandatory for Level A or AA.

Hi Everyone,
I'm researching WCAG 2.0 for SA State Government, and I'm being asked by my management to get an independent audit of our department websites.

Does anyone have any advice on how to select a reliable company to do this? Or indeed if you think this is an advisable first step in the process?

Cheers
Steve

I would like to comment on the definition of synchronised media. I have been scratching my head over this, not in relation to captions but to the use of audio description.

To conform to SC 1.2.3 (Level A) synchronised media must either have an audio description or be a media alternative for text.

To conform to SC 1.2.5 (Level AA) it must have an audio description.

When I first came across these success criteria I asked myself “Does this mean that all videos with an audio track must have an audio description to conform at Level AA?”

In order to answer that question I looked up the definition of synchronised media. The definition appeared to confirm, albeit in complex language, that video with an audio track does indeed constitute synchronised media.

But the bit that has me puzzled is the phrase “unless the media is a media alternative for text”. So, are they saying that if video is a media alternative for text it is no longer defined as synchronised media?

It seems strange that a definition of a term has a caveat like that. A definition should clearly define the term. It’s like saying that if synchronised media has a text alternative, then it is no longer considered synchronised media.

I raised this issue in another forum and the general consensus was that to meet Level AA conformance, video with audio must have an audio description, and that a text alternative can only conform to Level A. And some of these comments came from W3C representatives.

So, SC 1.2.5 appears to say that a text alternative is not sufficient unless there is a text alternative, in which case it doesn’t apply. Do you see the circular nature of this?

A similar situation applies with captions, but here it is in the success criterion itself rather than the definition. We are told that captions are required for pre-recorded audio to conform to Level A.

But SC 1.2.2 states that captions are required “except when the media is a media alternative for text”.

I have been advising my clients that captions are not required in cases where the video is clearly labeled as a media alternative for text and the text alternative provides equivalent information. Am I wrong?

Hi Glen

Here is my interpretation to part of that: "....But the bit that has me puzzled is the phrase “unless the media is a media alternative for text”. So, are they saying ... that if video is a media alternative for text it is no longer defined as synchronised media?..."

The audio-visual content doesnt cease to be classifed as synchronised media, but just no longer requires an alternative format (audio description and such), because IT IS the alternative.

For example, a document describes, in text, how to tie a knot. All the steps are presented in text, it is the authority on the subject. But for some it would be difficult understand, so the author puts up a video of himself tying the knot. Now, if the audio-visual content doesnt present more information than the text document, but can be seen to supplement it, then it is the secondary format, and could be classified as a media alternative to text. No extras needed, it meets the standard.

Remember the W3C definition here:
media alternative for text
media that presents no more information than is already presented in text (directly or via text alternatives)

This shouldnt be considered a loop hole in WCAG, but rather attempts to close the loop of what would otherwise require content authors to provide accessible alternatives to accessible alternatives.

That's my thoughts on the matter. What do others think?

Thanks Raven and Lamont

Rather than avoiding a loop, referring to a media alternative for text in the actual definition of synchronised media is actually creating a loop. That’s the point I was trying to make.

SC 1.2.5 suggests that a media alternative for text is not enough. Yet, the definition of synchronised media suggests that it is. That is the problem.

Saying that audio-visual content that is a media alternative for text “no longer requires an alternative format because IT IS the alternative” is another way of saying that it already has an alternative.

You are correct to point out the absurdity of providing accessible alternatives to accessible alternatives. However, I disagree with the notion of primacy.

If you have two versions of content, both of which offer equivalent information, why should one version be considered primary and the other secondary? Is it the order in which they are created?

To use Raven’s example, if I create a video explaining how to tie a knot and I then create a text document that offers equivalent information, is the text equivalent then the secondary source? Do our users know or care which version came first?

In my opinion a media alternative for text is nothing more than an alternative format. If both formats offer equivalent information, it doesn’t matter which came first.

If you visit a web page about how to tie knots and the page offers a video and an HTML version, and they both convey equivalent information, is it not reasonable to consider the video as a media alternative for text and the HTML a text alternative for video?

If you stumble upon the HTML version and it has a prominent link to the video, you can easily navigate to the video if that’s what you want. And, if you stumble upon the video page and you are unable to view the video, provided that the page with the embedded video has a prominent link to the text version, you can easily navigate to the text version.

I don’t see why one version should be considered secondary. I believe that if a video has an obvious link to a text alternative that offers equivalent information it is perfectly reasonable to consider the video to be a media alternative for text.

Does that make sense?

Lamont, if you provide a text alternative legal proceedings don't enter into the equation. I am in no way suggesting that you not provide a text alternative.

"When I said obvious, I meant that the text alternative is clear and obvious and accessible from the same page. And the same for the video version. They link to each other, and each alternative is obvious to the user.

If content is available in alternative formats I don't see why primacy is an issue. A speech may have initially been presented in person and videotaped and the transcript may have been created after the event, but I don't think that matters.

You may be right that in 99% of cases the intent of the author is obvious. But I don't consider that an issue.

Raven, SC 1.2.5 says that to conform to Level AA you must have an audio description. This differs from SC 1.2.3 which allows either an audio description or a media alternative for text.

If the definition of synchronised media doesn't apply when the synchronised media is a media alternative for text, then SC 1.2.5 is meaningless.

That's the bit I have trouble with, and that's where the loop comes in. It is caused by the definition. The difference between the two success criteria is that one accepts a media alternative and one doesn't, but the definition negates that difference.

The definition itself is at fault.

I agree with Glen, the definition does not make sense.

Interesting debate and from Vision Australia's perspective we can appreciate both points of view being raised.

This was an issue we previously discussed internally when WCAG 2.0 was released. Our interpretation was that the definition of synchronized media as presented by WCAG, could suggest that presenting full information in text (not linked to) - as your primary format exempts synchronized media from Success Criteria pertaining to 'synchronized media' (1.2.2, 1.2.3 etc). Therefore, the only requirement is for synchronized media to be labeled as “media alternative to text”.

However, we consider this to be a potential loop hole and we do not suggest that people exploit that. From Vision Australia's perspective the end goal is to make websites accessible to everyone, and following this path would ultimately discriminate against some user groups.

Any WCAG 2.0 reviews undertaken by Vision Australia would closely consider the context and nature of the information provided, and would question conformance if the synchronized media would appear to be the primary format - even if the synchronized media is labeled “media alternative to text”.

Hi Accessibility colleagues;

For clarification, WCAG 2.0 compliance is NOT optional unless an agency seeks an opt-out.

The NTS sets out the authority for conformance, and for the first time since the Government Online Reporting round in December 2000, clear communication that agencies are expected to report their progress.

We are working on the requirements for agency reporting right now and I can assure you that the committees who have sponsored this project are extremely interested in the Australian Government progress on web accessibility.

The contributors here have ALL made very valid points and ones we are used to hearing. What is different now is that AGIMO is not only working with government agencies to help improve web accessibility and conformance to WCAG 2.0, we also have a full program of liaison with many of the disability organisations and advocacy groups who are becoming much more aware of their rights especially to government information.

The implication is that it is becoming increasingly riskier for government to be discriminatory as more people are prepared to, and do, lodge formal complaints.

Opt-out process - http://www.finance.gov.au/e-government/strategy-and-governance/Whole-of-...

One of my senior executives has just made the comment that we have moved beyond WCAG2.0 to WCAG3.0. Anyone have any news or comments? I would have thought since we haven't got WCAG2.0 bedded in and correct WCAG3.0 is a wish list?

Yes and Web 4.0 being discussed as well in a strategic sense.

Hi all...

So we are getting close to the phase 1 deadline and I'm keen to know where other agencies are up to, what they've interpreted as being "prepared" for transition phase..

Are any agencies aiming for Level AA conformance right off the bat?

We are migrating from a Cold Fusion platform to Sharepoint 2010 over the next 3-4 months. Our vendors have advised that accessibility compliance is assured with this new version of Sharepoint. This is exciting but at the same time I'm a little skeptical... perhaps that is unwarranted. Any comments?

We have conducted content reviews, made movements towards tagging content for decommissioning and archiving. Our biggest challenge is the provision of accessible downloadable files i.e. .pdf, .doc, .xls.

I know that there have been posts about the accessibility of PDFs in the past so I'm not proposing another round of discussions here... unless there have been changes?

Just updating myself on the new NTS guidance sent out yesterday by AGIMO and under 1.2 Accessibility Conformance testing it says it "might be worth considering either outsourcing testing, training staff (to complete in-house testing) or using a hybrid approach."

I'm sure most people have significant constraints on their budgets to make outsourcing testing a bit of a dream but I do like the idea of training staff. Does anybody know if someone is considering providing this training (no names in replies please!!) or could we all get together and ask for a course to be set up by a qualified provider? Would AGIMO be the appropriate driver to organise? What do other people think?

Would AGIMO consider recruiting a team of Accessibility Analysts to outsource to struggling departments?

While there are hotbeds of highly skilled Accessibility Analysts in several larger departments, smaller departments do not have access to their expertise.

Smaller departments struggle to attract specialists as they cannot find the funding, their projects aren't appealing enough, or they just don't know how to find the right people; while the larger departments can lure contractors with higher rates, bigger projects, and longer contracts...

I have utilised the services of many of the commercial accessibility testing companies, and while they all provide a beautifully presented report at the end of the job, there sometimes seems a lack of understanding of the complexities faced by a department, or generic solutions based on notions of best practice better suited to the blogosphere than government departments.

By this I mean that it's not hard to test by the numbers and offer suggestions for improvements, there are even applications to do it for you...

But it is a lot harder, and requires more time, to fully understand how a department ticks, how it's staff produce their work, and how to help all stakeholders work towards accessibility.

and being Xmas time and all, there will be lots of eager contractors looking for work...

I have been consolidating information of the last few weeks for the stocktake. We have been working off a excel spreadsheet that was provided to us by Raven for the stocktake. As I work for a portfolio of many agencies it's turning into a huge task.

My question is the other day we got called into a meeting with IT who are saying who's filling out the WCAG 2.0 National Transition Strategy Survey? Now can someone please tell me what do we do, the survey or the spreadsheet? I don't particularly want to duplicate the work I'm doing, based on the sheer size of the work. I hate to admit it, but this is the first time I have seen the survey, and it looks like a much more organised method on reporting for the WCAG 2.0 Phase 1.

I have emailed Raven directly but wanted to see if anyone else out there has had similar confusions?

Thanks

Does AGIMO intend to check agency sites for WCAG 2.0 compliance and if so, what software is it planning to use? I'm looking for compliance checking software to assist us with moving to this standard as well as maintaining compliance thereafter. I've found tools that will check individual URLs but I'd prefer a tool that can crawl a whole site. While I could select one of these I'd prefer to use what AGIMO plans to use so that we end up with the same outcome.

Many thanks for organising the information sessions about PDFs. They were most informative.

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Last updated: 28 July 2016