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Re: really?

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 13:53:11 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0908311153uaa3daabq4344f36f056093c9@mail.gmail.com>
To: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Cc: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>, HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM, William
Loughborough<wloughborough@gmail.com> wrote:
> Tab wrote:
> "None of this affects the basic premise that, in general, authors won't do a
> thing about it if it doesn't offer them tangible benefits in visual
> rendering or mouse-based interaction."
> "Authors(1990) are NOT Authors(2010)" and the lack of "affect" has markedly
> changed in this regard and will continue to change BECAUSE we continue to
> educate them to such things as how the experience of being faced with
> inaccessibility "feels".
> A very frequent revelation for one over the years is how one gets changed by
> begetting a blind child or meeting and being befriended by a quadriplegic
> colleague. These things ARE changing and that's why it's important not only
> to continue to try (however futilely) to automate these efforts, but to
> raise this consciousness. There really are moments of epiphany when you just
> "get it" and are moved from "lazy" author who just doesn't give a shit to an
> advocate who joins those on the soap boxes.

I agree that the web is a better place now than it was 20 years ago.
In part that's because we developed technological solutions that help
accessibility *while also* aiding in visual design.  Do you honestly
think that people would be arranging their sites in quality
semantic-content order if CSS wasn't there to rearrange it for them,
and then give a ton of other benefits on top?

Technology has taken advantage of author's laziness and made it easy
to be accidentally accessible in certain ways.  The average "I care
about accessibility" author will still shun accessibility offhand when
being accessible would require substantial work or screw up their
visual design.  It's hard work and excellent design that has made
certain technologies so successful at enabling accessibility that 2010
authors *can* care about it and get their bosses to sign off on
requirements involving it.  After all, the old "That's not our target
market" excuse is just as easy as it always was.

I understand that there are moments that 'light up' a person and make
them aware that this is an Important Problem,and they should be Doing
Something About It.  But that light will never be something you can
rely on in the masses, so we need to develop as much backlight as
possible so that their sites will shine no matter what.  The more
successfully we can automate accessibility the better off *everyone*
will be, both people with disabilities that can access the wide web
more easily and authors who can just do what they want to do and
*create* without worrying about the infrastructure around their

Received on Monday, 31 August 2009 18:54:12 UTC

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