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Re: Accessibility is for everyone (was : Use of headers and summary attributes )

From: Maurice Carey <maurice@thymeonline.com>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2007 11:51:05 -0400
To: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C260CEA9.25E2%maurice@thymeonline.com>

On 5/4/07 11:47 AM, "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com> wrote:

> 
> Accessibility is a fundamental requirement at W3C.
> 
> One of the reasons I am happy to see HTML being developed here again (at last)
> is that it gives us access to the review of people with a lot of experience in
> practical deployment of accessibility, as well as a mechanism that clearly
> ensures this is taken into account. Not that I distrust Ian's management of
> issues in WHATWG, but my experience suggests that W3C groups get a
> better-informed accessibility review.
> 
> Accessibility has to work in the real world. What does this mean? In 1998/9,
> many people said it was unrealistic to expect people to use the alt attribute,
> and therefore we should forget it. While experience shows there are stil
> plenty of people who don't care enough to get it right, showing that it is
> important and how to use it will lead to a lot more people making use of it
> and therefore improving the accessibility of the web. Perfection would be
> wonderful, but given a world where barriers appear all through a normal day,
> preventing people from participating in life as we understand it, improvements
> are great even when they are partial.
> 
> This is a complex area, with a lot of competing requirements (what suits a
> blind engineer is almost diametrically opposed to what suits a dyslexic
> engineer, even before we broaden the application to real humans ;) ), so some
> creative thinking is often required before we determine a solution that
> satisfies what appear at first to be contradictory requirements. It has turned
> out, in many cases, that a good solution can be found. As always, [cue
> interjection from M Glazman ;) ] authoring tools of various kinds have a
> critical role to play here. Most people don't know much about accessibility,
> and while they are no more opposed to it than they are opposed to other people
> being able being able to hand-edit web applications, they are simply trying to
> put something online and if their tools don't solve the niggling little
> problems like interoperability and accessibility, they will just do as much as
> they have time for and leave it at that.
> 
> Anyone who doesn't know what WAI does might like to think about how widely
> known and translated the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are as an
> indication of whether this stuff is actually important. Like any other
> specification, the application is far from perfect, but if you want to
> contribute to HTML you should either understand something about accessibility
> or realise that accessibility is one very important part of the modern web and
> make sure the group is getting review and input from people who do understand
> it, and taking that into account.
> 
> </rant>
> 
> cheers
> 
> Chaals
> 


Do we have representatives from the screen reader/text browser developers in
the group?

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Received on Friday, 4 May 2007 15:51:09 UTC

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