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

From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:39:03 -0500
Message-ID: <4F60F3D7.8050202@w3.org>
To: public-wai-rd@w3.org
  On 3/11/2012 7:04 AM, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:
> 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.
>
> Regards,
> Shadi
>

Indeed http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/Overview.html says:
"Inclusive design, design for all, digital inclusion, universal usability, and similar efforts address a broad range of issues in making technology available to and usable by all people whatever their abilities, age, economic situation, education, geographic location, language, etc. <em>Accessibility</em> focuses on people with disabilities  people with auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual impairments. The documents below explore some of the overlaps between inclusive design and web accessibility, and help managers, designers, developers, policy makers, researchers, and others optimize their efforts in these overlapping areas."

Regards,
~Shawn
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:12:45 GMT

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