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Re: Updated again: "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

From: Robert Yonaitis <ryonaitis@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 10:31:22 -0400
Message-ID: <BANLkTimb-e8UpR1HH+55ksZBcthdS_1uyQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Pouncey <w3c@ipouncey.co.uk>
Cc: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Hello All,

I think Peter (Abrahams) accurately writes about what he "believes",
However, This slide deck is a educational piece and while many accessibility
experts have total faith in the assessments that does not make the
assertions fact as presented. I have worked in Accessibility and A11y
Education and Outreach for over a decade and it strikes me that when we lead
with our faith & beliefs on a education / outreach piece we leave more to be
explained then learned. While we can discuss this stuff it is not something
that we should present as fact, unless we have facts.

I remember talking to a friend in Madrid, William (Loughborough), and he
noticed no old people going into the Prado. Based on this he identified that
this should lead us to more research, anecdotal evidence is not bad it
should get us thinking, we identified some bad things and some good things
and if I know William he then presented his ideas to the museum. So please
do not think I believe Anecdotal evidence is bad - in fact it does get us
thinking, innovating and should be a starting point for more research. So
when thinking of this article, that Peter wrote, think of a graduate
research paper. If you delivered that article as a research paper you would
not do very well as there are no sources and it stresses faith versus fact.

William discussed a council of elders and I wonder if that ever happened at
the W3C  as it would have been a good thing. I think from this slide deck
there also may be anecdotal evidence that the group can benefit from non
A11y business people contributing. There would have a different take on the
slides. The slides lean heavily toward business terms but does not rise to
the level of business data that a CEO/Business Unit Leader would need to
make a decision. In business meetings or when presenting to a board you peer
through every slide and you think of what slide will allow them to dismiss
the idea, how many of these slides would give someone the excuse to dismiss
the entire presentation until there was more data?

In the end I do believe there should be a central goal to this slide deck,
"do no harm" perhaps everything this groups does should lean toward this
lofty goal. The information presented should be beyond question and it
should grow the belief, based on facts, in developing accessible (to people
that do not currently do so or are on the fence) and never contribute to the
people who come up with reasons to ignore the moral and social need, in my
opinion, to make their content and applications accessible.

As I said in a previous mail I believe the slide deck is a tweak or two away
from achieving what I assumed its goals were. I just wanted to make sure
that I was very clear on why I disagreed with the use of the anecdotal data.
If we believe this Anecdotal information is so important perhaps we need to
assign a research team to get together real data, write a paper and submit
it to peers on ACM (http://www.acm.org/) to get it properly vetted and
published so we can refer to it. Again, thank you for your time.

Cheers,
Rob Yonaitis
http://www.facebook.com/yonaitis


> All of these statistics are excellent and can be seen to have a direct
> effect on the profitability of Legal & General which far outweighed
> the expenditure and demonstrate excellent return-on- investment (ROI).
> Peter Abrahams, Bloor Research
>
> Unless we want a debate about separation of 'accessibility' and
> 'usability' (and I hope we don't!) I think that the stats justify
> including the reference in this presentation.
Received on Monday, 11 April 2011 15:01:06 GMT

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