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Re: Call for Review: Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web

From: Sharron Rush <srush@knowbility.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 17:21:07 -0700
Message-ID: <49CACA73.3090300@knowbility.org>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
William, you are right about the ponderousness (is that a word?) of this 
document, which seems to be precisely why we should review and 
recommend.  And you are right that "eGovernment cannot survive being 
just a remap of outmoded/ineffective versions"  Several recent uses of 
the web for governance and related activities like elections have proven 
that point. 

So perhaps one of the first recommendations is that this entire document 
and the thinking behind it needs to be accessible in the broadest 
sense.  Last year at the UDEM conference in Monterrey, Mexico there was 
quite a bit of activity around "Citizen Language" and the need for 
governments to be mindful of it.  In that spirit, this document should 
lead from example.

If we accept that basic premise, how else can we help make this document 
do the work we would like for it to do?  The web provides a pretty 
unprecedented format to allow for government transparency.   I don't 
know enough about who participates on this working group, but the 
structure and the language seems opaque as it is now and counter to the 
goals they espouse.  Let's help them understand that, and let's help 
facilitate the multi-dimensional, citizen-led dialog that serves people 

WAI seems to me like a great place for that to occur, don't you agree?

So, with William's astute comments in mind, I will try to read through 
and make more specific comments in the next few days.

Onward, through the fog,

William Loughborough wrote:
> As usual, I come late to this dance. As I read the fairly ponderous 
> Introduction I am struck by the near-total inattention to the 
> citizens' role in deference to the governments' roles. This is a 
> pervasive trend leading from the ideals of the Web towards yet another 
> top-down version of what we are about. One thing we must provide to 
> this undertaking is the Disability Rights Movement's central mantra: 
> "Nothing About Us Without Us" - and this goes well beyond 
> Accessibility for People With Disabilities - all the way to pure 
> Usability/Accessibility for People (full stop).
> I don't know what to do about this as it seems to be permeating so 
> much of our effort. So I will raise this flag but don't really know 
> what else to do.
> *Quit maintaining that there must be some central authority in all of 
> these matters. eGovernment cannot survive being just a remap of 
> outmoded/ineffective versions of a bunch of fat/old/white men running 
> everything.*
> Love.
> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:43 AM, Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org 
> <mailto:shawn@w3.org>> wrote:
>     EOWG participants,
>     Please review "Improving Access to Government through Better Use
>     of the Web" at http://www.w3.org/TR/egov-improving/ from an
>     accessibility outreach and education perspective, that is, how the
>     document addresses accessibility, people with disabilities, and
>     older users with accessibility needs.
Received on Thursday, 26 March 2009 00:22:00 UTC

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