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Re: Flickr and alt

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 12:40:40 -0400
Message-ID: <48B18F08.1030301@mit.edu>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
CC: W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

David Poehlman wrote:
> Regardless of the law, there is a responsibility of the community to make 
> content accessibility to all.  As I understand it, this is the very center 
> of what the web is about.

At the same time, the web is about making _authoring_ possible for all. 
  There is a fundamental tension between the two, since I don't think 
all people are capable of producing content accessible to everyone. 
Taking me as an example, I would have no idea where to even start trying 
to make a document accessible to someone with autism, or Down's 
Syndrome, or someone who is deaf.  In fact, I don't even know in which 
cases I'd have to do something.

This is not to say that there aren't obvious cases in which it's clear 
(to me) that the content won't be accessible to another user, and also 
clear what should be done to fix that, and in those cases I do think I 
have the responsibility to make it accessible.

But are those cases clear to said person with Down's Syndrome?  Should 
they be able to author conformant HTML, or should they be excluded?  Do 
you expect tool vendors to automatically detect all cases of 
inaccessible content to help out such an author?  I do think we'll get 
there eventually, but we're not there yet.

> AS far as answering your question about who should benefit
 > it is all for whom technology is available to benefit.

By "benefit" you mean that these are the people whom HTML authors should 
worry about when authoring, right?

Define "available"?  Is cost (for the author) an issue?  (Seems to me 
like it is.)

> It is unfortunate but I would be 
> less than accurate if I were to say that all should have access when 
> technology is not present to accomplish this.

OK.  Good to see that we agree on this.

> I would argue with its followings that someone needs to know how to write in order to write.

And yet we do not require knowing how to read in order to read (e.g. 
voice synthesizers).  Why the double-standard?

-Boris
Received on Sunday, 24 August 2008 16:41:23 UTC

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