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definition of "accessibility" (was Re: [urgent] input from WAI Coordination Group on mobile accessibility pre-cal)

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 13:04:39 +0100
Message-ID: <4F5C94D7.5050605@w3.org>
To: Simon Harper <simon.harper@manchester.ac.uk>
CC: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, RDWG <public-wai-rd@w3.org>
On 10.3.2012 13:18, Joshue O Connor wrote:
> On 10.3.2012 11:06, sharper@cs.man.ac.uk wrote:
> [...]
>> I think accessibility is much bigger than disability alone and is not
>> confined to the WHO definition of disability? Further, the WHO definition
>> is written with quite open definitions but all in the implicit context of
>> impairment - for instance there are plenty of 'activity limitations'
>> which  can occur which would not be considered to be a disability.
> Yes, it is also worth noting that a 'happy by product' of serving the
> needs of PwD is that we reduce barriers for many, many other users who
> don't have disabilities. _However_ the very act of explicitly designing
> for extremes ensures that the product/service/website etc will work for
> users of AT _and_ these other groups.
> Hence the focus on PwD is important IMO.

I fully agree with Josh on this. There are many groups of people for 
which there are no clear nor exclusionary boundaries, and thus no single 
definitions. Addressing this broad spectrum of diversity is frequently 
referred to as inclusion. Accessibility for people with disabilities in 
one component of this, and deserves to be addressed specifically and in 
detail, yet with acknowledgement and understanding of the 
interrelationships with other components of inclusion.

I believe this is also inline with the mission of WAI.


Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)
Received on Sunday, 11 March 2012 12:06:22 UTC

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