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Re: the "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

From: Robert Yonaitis <ryonaitis@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 15:00:56 -0400
Message-ID: <BANLkTik5qns44nq-MdebTM1UyKGQaGK78Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>, EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Hello All:

I wanted to provide some final comments on this slide deck, its content and
the underlying need for this material.

First, It appears that the PowerPoint slides and speaker notes delivers a
lecture being built from a simple axiom: If a business builds Accessible web
sites/applications it will be beneficial to their business. From here I
would think, from a lesson or educational perspective, we should be using
clear concise and logical reasoning that is neutral in manner. In the
simplest terms the Axiom is delivered in the beginning and from this point
we should have an introduction prove our points and then have a conclusion.

Side Note: As someone that has run several companies I am aware of some of
the myths out there on structures and presentations, like the famous, “Tell
them what you are going to tell the, Tell them and then close by reminding
them what you told them” myths like this help to dilute your message.

In developing the slides to be used as part of an education and outreach
effort it is important to keep the presentation clean and use logical order.
So after the introduction we should focus on proving the point rigorously
and I think it is important to discard “all” side issues. Our arguments
should be designed to prove the Axiom: “If a business builds Accessible web
sites/applications it will be beneficial to their business”. They should be
strong, forceful, and positive. In my personal view, perhaps some experts in
training or logical arguments (Argumentation) would agree, the two most
important items in building the logical argument to prove a stated axiom are
to be factual and to avoid side issues. I think we can all agree this slide
show fails in these two areas - Graphs are far from factual, data is
somewhat outdated, and there are multiple side issues and metaphors
presented. I would also add that using metaphors (like the tree) to prove a
logical argument is frowned upon. What this does is remove focus from the
main point and you will lose some of your audience.  Given the axiom and the
importance of the training product, are we willing to lose any demographic
from this argument? Do not get me wrong, while we could include anecdotes we
would have to take care that they do not take away from our main argument.

>From a review of training materials I am curious as to any review besides
this group. Specifically, I am thinking of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
When developing training we often seek input, the input can be from other
trainers or from SMEs. We do this because there can be problems with using
training materials that have never been tested or reviewed. Considering the
testing of training materials you have to think seriously about conducting
formative evaluations. There are many different ways to conduct evaluations.
Have we done any “one on one evaluations”, have we considered the role of
SMEs in the development of training lecture? I am not talking about a11y
SMEs; I am talking about the following SMEs:

- Training

- Management

- Business

- Legal

- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For an evaluation we would provide all of the instructional analysis,
performance objectives, the instruction itself, and of course.

Finally,  after our points we need to do a summary. We need to provide the
closing argument that sums up the axiom; this is being prepared as a lecture
with speaker notes. I think this is needed and I cannot see a clear closing.
I remember a talk I gave (I think it was DC) to a group of potential
customers that were on the fence as related to a purchase, I simply asked
the management if they believed their information (on the web) was very
important and that people had the right to view it, the management team
answered, “Yes”, I then asked them if they considered someone who was blind
to be a person, I got the sale. It was a positive, factual, and a strong
argument. I had no need to use the classic; fear, uncertainty and doubt

I was glad to see the group did not choose to throw in legal risk and the
number of law suits in America or any other country, as this would be using
FUD, and in my experience FUD is used only when you have a weak argument and
it shuts off most people’s willingness to listen. In a11y many groups have
done this, for example conducting unrequested scans of websites and then
using FUD to sell software. I agree that there is no place for FUD in the

I also agree that there is the need for this material and I hope that you
see my comments are being made as someone who cares deeply about education
of people on the importance of building accessible. Frankly I view it as a
human rights issue. I also believe since this training is being developed as
a lecture and as a training guide, it should be reviewed in these terms and
by much more then a11y SMEs. To do an effective education and outreach
program all items, especially outside of a11y need to be reviewed.

Thanks for your time,

Rob Yonaitis


Post Note: When I made my argument and asked, "if they considered someone
who was blind to be a person”, I used blind versus disabled or arguments of
accessibility for all regardless of ability, etc… because it was an argument
they could relate to immediately.
Received on Friday, 6 May 2011 19:01:24 UTC

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