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Re: Great Free Stuff!

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 05:00:46 -0800
Message-ID: <34E989FE.D630C2C0@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Jan's posting emphasizes the dilemma we face and coupled with the
linked-to document at http://www.utoronto.ca/atrc/rd/hm/3tions.htm
presents how our proposals ping-pong twixt persuasion/compulsion.  In
the list posting:

"No major authoring tool software producer (Microsoft, Netscape, Adobe,
etc) would ever place such a user interface nuisance in their software."

at the web site:

"...make the provision of accessibility information an active part of
the authoring process."

"...accessibility fixes should be presented as the user initiates
inaccessible authoring practices."

"...published guidelines and pleas for cooperation have been

"...the accessible HTML community must win the cooperation of the most
popular Web authoring product makers"

I am the last to cry for restricting the absolute freedom of choice for
everybody in everything but just as I must get building permits to put a
structure on *my own* land and file an environmental impact study when I
undertake a big condo project and bow to rules about damming/polluting
streams, so I claim that the issues we face take *overwhelming
precedence* over the convenience and artistic whims of "cool" web site
design as permitted (nay, encouraged) by the "major" web authoring tool
makers.  As recent encounters with the U.S. justice system proclaim even
MicroSoft is not above the law.

While there may be holdouts who refuse to bend to society's rules, the
clear indication of the will of the people is that people with
disabilities are firstly people and those who flaunt their needs
knowingly or for ease or quick profit will be eventually dealt with
(although the Greyhound Bus folks make me wonder how long it will take).

My rather raucous displays of "blind rage" (pun intended) in these
matters are designed to promote awareness of the fact that the "bottom
line" so dear to the bean counting departments must be made aware of the
fact that even tobacco and asbestos company founders' grandchildren will
get to pay for their callous disregard of our needs including such
seemingly trivial things as accessible web site design.

The undeniable fact that most of these companies pay at best lip service
to our issues does not change that our concerns are recognized and
should be demanded, not merely requested.  If it is impolitic to chain
oneself to the doors of the draft board, etc. so be it.  Accessibility
is a right guaranteed (at least in the U.S.A.), not a little sop that
some corporate entity can be cajoled into respecting.  
Received on Tuesday, 17 February 1998 08:01:54 UTC

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