Request for Comments: Proposed Guidelines on Accessibility of Digital Content

LDA has been asked by the Cognitive Task Force (COGA) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to respond to its request for comments on the accessibility of digital content by individuals with learning disabilities. (This includes how someone with a learning disability accesses information or may take a test via a computer.)

You are encouraged to share this request with other individuals (including parents, students, educators, and adults with learning disabilities) or groups who have insights into the needs of people with cognitive and learning disabilities. Comments may be submitted by individuals or groups. Please see below for details. Comments are due Friday, March 31, 2017.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,
Pat Lillie
President, Learning Disabilities Association of America

“The Cognitive Task Force (COGA) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has been working to get accommodations and accessibility guidelines for people with learning and cognitive disabilities into the next version of WCAG, version 2.1.
WCAG is an internationally-recognized set of guidelines that defines how to make digital content accessible to people with disabilities. It has been codified into law in several countries, including the United States, and is the basis of the recent update to Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act.

The First Working Draft of WCAG 2.1 was recently released and they are looking for public comment. The main document is extremely long and can be a bit daunting to review, so the Cognitive Task Force created a summary document of the new changes that have been added specifically to help people with learning and cognitive disabilities.

The needs of these populations have not been well-represented in previous versions of these guidelines and the COGA Task Force hopes to change that reality. However, in order to make this change, we need feedback from experienced people, like you, who have a deep understanding of the needs of people with various types of cognitive and learning disabilities.

  • The task force would specifically like feedback on the following:
  • How important are the proposed COGA Success Criteria for users? Note that many of our success criteria are likely to get removed in the next version, so feedback about why they are needed and useful is very important.
  • Do the COGA Success Criteria fully address current user needs for digital learning and web content? If not, what changes would you recommend so that the needs of more people can be addressed?
  • Some of our recommendations are not in the First Working Draft. Which ones do you think are most important to put in the next draft?

To comment on each one of the 10 COGA Success Criterion that made it into the First Public Working Draft of WCAG 2.1, you can, file an issue in the W3C WCAG 2.1 GitHub repository, or you can simply send an email to public-agwg-comments@w3.orgpublic-agwg-comments@w3.org. You can also view the comment archive to see what others are saying.

Comments are requested by 31 March 2017. We sincerely hope that you will be able to take the time to respond about the need for these provisions to be included in WCAG 2.1. We also invite you to share this email with others in your network who have insights into the needs of people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

Feel free to look at our COGA-FAQ or Wiki or email our facilitator, Lisa Seeman, with any questions.

Thanks so much for all your help!

Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (COGA)

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