Accessibility Features Community Group

23 June 2021


Kilian Valkhof, Nathan Loding, Joschi Kuphal, James, Cris Cairns, Marcus Herrmann, Jules Ernst, Kristie Nicol, Eric Eggert (yatil), Hidde de Vries (hdv), Wilco Fiers

Meeting minutes


yatil: The goal of this group is to make accessibility work not just at the point of content creation, but also at the point of where the user views content

yatil: I think we should go around the room for introductions

yatil: thanks everyone for introductions, this is a great group! Let's get started

Finalizing the mission statement

<yatil> https://www.w3.org/community/a11yfeat/2021/06/10/call-for-participation-in-accessibility-features-community-group/

yatil: the four paragraphs on that web page and the list of different types of features is what Wilco, Hidde and I talked about earlier

[reads out the page]

yatil: is everyone with this mission statement, do people have any comments? we would like to have consensus that this is something we all want to be working on

Wilco: do people feel like there is anything missing from the statement?

marcus: Maybe in the second paragraph it needs an example? after 'challenges unique to their content', I would expect a 'for example'

yatil: makes … our idea was that instead of fixing contrast issues, you could focus on writing alternative text, because that is something especially unique to your content

<Wilco> hdv: I wonder if we want to highlight a lot of that.

<Wilco> ... We don't want to inspire people to stop certain types of accessibility work

yatil: yup that's one of the things we talked about… we don't want to stop people doing accessibility work, this is about users getting features they need

yatil: the goal is to give features to people who have needs

Wilco: for me, I would not mind if certain accessibility problems would not be addressed… let's see if we can make some of these things easier. If we can tell authors not to worry about focus, because the user agent ensures that, that would be fantastic

yatil: I agree, but don't want to start from that point

Wilco: that's fair

yatil: the features we're thinking about its… what is the kind of thing a browser of operating system _could_ take on

yatil: if we fix it in the browser, we can fix it once and for everyone, rather than relying on every website to fix

hdv: I'm also thinking of features like video player added to the browser.

... At that point you don't need to build your own. Components in the browser that you can trust is a good idea.

yatil: this will come out of our work probably… we'll get an idea of the kinds of things that work

Wilco: may be good to officially accept the mission statement? I'll do a proposed resolution

Proposed resolution: Accepted the mission statement as written

<kilianvalkhof> +1

<jkphl> +1

<hdv> +1

<James> +1

<nloding> +1

<ccairns> +1

<marcus> +1

<yatil> +1

<Wilco> +1

<jules_> +1

<yatil> kristie +1

Resolution: Accepted the mission statement as written

Finding a regular meeting time

yatil: we thought about biweekly… not twice a week… every other week

yatil: probably around this timeslot

<kilianvalkhof> thursdays at 4 would work for me too

yatil: let's meet again in two weeks, Thursday at 5, I'll also send a Doodle

yatil: (that's 5, my time, so the same time as today)

Initial activities

yatil: Wilco, Hidde and I talked a bit about the first deliverables we could do

yatil: one of the things we need to do is to have a catalog of accessibility features

yatil: that way we could also have a matrix of features and which browsers support them

yatil: the second step would be to see what we can use the data for. One of the things that the W3C WAI website has, is a page that explains how to resize text


<Wilco> https://caniuse.com/ "can i use database" in case you're not familiar

yatil: so one thing that we can do is to create web pages for users that explain how to use accessibility features… something else could be some sort of caniuse-like interface

yatil: any comments on that?

kilianvalkhof: given this already exists, how much of what we do would be replicating? can't we link to these resources that are already available?

yatil: that's a good question… caniuse is not really about accessibility features, more about HTML/CSS/JS features. And some of the other resources are a little out of date

yatil: so we think we'll be catalogueing things that caniuse doesn't have. One example is a thing Safari has, that you can set a minimum font size, no other browser does, and it is not in caniuse

kilianvalkhof: could we update that W3C/WAI page?

hdv: may be tricky to convince the owners, and that page is only about one feature

yatil: yes but they may be able to benefit from that work

yatil: other comments? I don't want to prescribe what we do… 

yatil: we could also do what kilianvalkhof does and develop plugins?

Wilco: one other idea that we pitched was to set up a survey and start collecting information on what kinds of features people are looking for / would like to see us focus on?

Wilco: in that case we'll probably also want to create a website and we'd need people ot do that… 

yatil: yes so something like 'what kind of accessibility features do you use? which features would you wish to exist?' would help us to identify gaps between browsers, operating systems, etc. It may often be the case that people don't know about certain features

yatil: this could also be work that's happening in two different paths… one collecting data in the survey, the other doing something with that data

marcus: it sounds like the first phase may be like a brainstorming phase? and the second to cluster those etc

yatil: yes… but we'll be following, very loosely, the W3C process, so we want to show what we are doing and why, to help us maintain credibility. So we want to do the research, and then the ideas.

yatil: a regular W3C Working Group expects people to work ~ 4 hours per week… I don't expect people to put in that much time in for this Community Group (of course you would be welcome to)… we want to make slow but steady progress

yatil: so the first thing to do for the next few weeks is to set up asynchronously

kilianvalkhof: have we had interest from browser vendors?

kilianvalkhof: they already have a lot of docs of their own, like the Edge team documented a lot

yatil: yes! we talked to folks, but no strong commitments just yet

yatil: we should always link to documentation when it is available

Wilco: part of this is also to create visibility for this work… the more work we do the more visibility we create… the more engagement we're likely to create

ccairns: interesting to look at the browsers and what already exists… so maybe we also need a list of things that crop up when we make websites, as developers… so what are things that are tough to create for developers and people would reach for a plugin

yatil: we probably all have lists of, like, the 7 things that are broken on every website kind of thing… definitely a good way to find things that we would want to try and look at for this work

yatil: would be good to, when we collect them, consider what are the user needs

<Wilco> +1

Tools to use in the CG

yatil: we have the Slack channel for communication, that seems to be the one that works best for most people, I'd like to keep using that if that's ok for people

marcus: it looks like for Slack you need a @w3.org address

yatil: I should be able to invite you

<Wilco> example /me my e-mail

yatil: I will invite everyone to Slack, if you can't access let me know and I'll invite you

yatil: for ease of use reasons, I propose using Google services for collaborative document editing

yatil: I see no -1's to that at this time

<Wilco> https://github.com/a11yfeat

yatil: we'd also like to use GitHub for this work, we've created an organisation for it

yatil: if we create code, prototypes, maybe a website, we could do that work there

yatil: this is a separate organisation from the w3c organisation, because it gives us a little more administrative options

yatil: I don't expect us to be doing a lot there for the next couple of days

yatil: I don't see anyone shaking their heads or fists, so that's good

Wilco: maybe we go around the room to ask how the meeting was, if anyone wants to add anything for today

marcus: no comments, it was my first time in W3C space and I liked how structured it was

jules_: no comments thanks!

kilianvalkhof: no remarks from me

ccairns: nothing from me

kristie: all good

jkphl: same for me as for Marcus, no remarks, overwhelmed.

nloding the IRC bot for the minutes is super cool

hdv: no remarks, thanks everyone for showing up, great to see the turnout

RRSAgent make minutes

Summary of resolutions

  1. Accepted the mission statement as written
Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 136 (Thu May 27 13:50:24 2021 UTC).