Or rather – “A cross-disciplinary approach to identifying requirements for an online health and social support system for people with lung cancer”. This was our submission to the ACM ASSETS 2012 Conference, but unfortunately was rejected – to some extent because it didn’t fit a limited -in my opinion- view of the definition of accessibility and its link with disability.
Web accessibility metrics are an invaluable tool for researchers, developers, governmental agencies and end users. Accessibility metrics help indicate the accessibility level of websites, including the accessibility level of individual websites, or even large-scale surveys of the accessibility of many websites. Recently, a plethora of metrics has been released to complement the A, AA, and AAA Levels measurement used by the WAI guidelines. However, the validity and reliability of most of these metrics are unknown and those making use of them are taking the risk of using inappropriate metrics. In order to address these concerns, this note provides a framework that considers validity, reliability, sensitivity, adequacy and complexity as the main qualities that a metric should have.
Well we undertook a study of validity and reliability of WCAG 2.0 and found that an 80% target for agreement is not attainable, when audits are conducted without communication between evaluators. Even with experienced evaluators the error rate is relatively high; and further, untrained accessibility auditors -be they developers or quality testers from other domains- do much worse than this. Read the full published text via ACM Author-izer Open Access on the publications page.
Last week I was talking about Deep Accessibility, and trying to define what it might be (who knows if I’m right). I said that in reality I thought it was pretty difficult to create a kind of Deep Accessibility, but that it was possible and necessary, and it was not just about disability but about all of us being able to access the information and functionality as we want or need. In a perfect example of how deep accessibility might be needed the UK Governments Research Councils UK (RCUK) swoop in with some requirements that makes my case.