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Re: argument in further progress

From: Liam McGee <liam.mcgee@communis.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 11:21:50 +0000
Message-ID: <45DD7CCE.3090507@communis.co.uk>
To: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>, EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

William Loughborough wrote:
> When I get my FTP back, I'll be able to use the style sheet.
> Love.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
>  From Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability 
> <http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/902cm.html>:
> "In addition, age, by itself, is not an impairment."
> 
> This document seeks to rescind that concept.
> 
> 
>   Ageing: the Inevitable Disability
> 
> A near universal goal/purpose of human life is the pursuit of survival.
> 
> As we age our physical/mental processes seem to wax until maturity, 
> thenceforward they begin a decay often characterized as "disability".
> 
> Traditionally disabilities have been variously categorized; e.g., 
> sensory, mobility, mental, etc. Ageing was not a separate category from 
> various sensory/memory diminutions but merely the vehicle for their onset.
> 
> One prominent differentiation among disabilities is along the 
> "visible/hidden" axis. Often we say "but she doesn't /look/ disabled". 
> Ageing is usually (absent surgical/cosmetic intervention) a visible 
> disability carrying levels of stigma/stereotyping that vary among cultures.
> 
> The person experiencing ageing (practically everybody!) becomes the 
> recipient of positive ("I hope when I'm your age I'm as sharp as you") 
> and negative ("don't you think you should quit driving?") cliches as 
> well as offers of assistance ("let me get that for you").
> 
> Because of such factors, we experience the stigma of disability and its 
> attendant exclusions - even without apparent physical handicaps.
> 

Hi William

I think that there is a useful distinction to be made between user 
requirements - modes of use, if you like - and the reasons for those 
requirements. Accessibility as a technical discipline deals with the 
user needs for particular modes of use. The reasons that users may have 
those needs can be explained to include various requirements whether 
device-based (Arty uses a PDA), physical-sensory (Bob has limited visual 
acuity), physical/motor (Carol has shaky hands), or simply preferential 
(Dorian finds using a mouse too slow). Everyone is an individual and 
perhaps categories such as 'old' or 'vision impaired' are unhelpful in 
terms of user personas as it is an insufficient definition of a users 
needs, an improper shorthand that can lead to designers making very bad 
assumptions (a blind person can hear).

Just thought I'd throw this into the debate :)

Warm regards

Liam
www.communis.co.uk
Received on Thursday, 22 February 2007 11:22:17 GMT

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