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A11y Wars: Rethinking Industry Wide Interpretation Differences

taught by: Glenda Sims & Wilco Fiers


There are about as many methods of testing accessibility, as there are people who do accessibility testing. Even for something as fundamental as deciding if the text alternative of an image is sufficiently descriptive, there are many different opinions.

In this presentation, we’ll look at the different perspectives people have when testing accessibility. We distinguish the following testing perspectives: Minimal, Optimized and Ideal.

By recognizing that there is no “one best way” of interpreting WCAG, and that each of these perspectives is valid in their own right, we hope to rise above some of the interpretation wars that have been going on in the field of web accessibility for a decade.

Together we can stop the a11y interpretation wars!

Practical Skills:

  • How to understand and mitigate differences in WCAG interpretations
  • What is WCAG 2.0 normative and what is informative
  • Why there is not just one right way to interpret WCAG and why we must agree on an interpretation model if we ever hope to be efficient and effective


  • None