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RE: the "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

From: Karl Groves <karl.groves@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 15:51:53 -0400
To: "'Robert Yonaitis'" <ryonaitis@gmail.com>, "'Shawn Henry'" <shawn@w3.org>, "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4dc4515d.4f7adc0a.3cd4.29ff@mx.google.com>
Rob,

 

I'm very happy to see your messages on this topic, because I appreciate your perspective and experience in this area and agree with you on almost every point.  I do have to disagree on the notion that discussing risk is FUD. Enterprise Risk Management is very important for protecting a business from loss or failure due to a wide array of risks – including risks from litigation or regulatory non-compliance.  There might be plenty of FUD-like arguments out there, but that doesn't mean discussing risk itself is FUD.  I believe it can be discussed without engaging in FUD.  Unfortunately the topic may be too complex in a presentation such as this one, but I think we should try.

 

 

Thanks.

 

Karl L. Groves

Director, Training

Deque Systems, Inc.

Phone:  443.517.9280

E-mail:  karl.groves@deque.com

 

Is a non-compliant website putting your organization at risk? Visit www.deque.com

 

From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Robert Yonaitis
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2011 3:01 PM
To: Shawn Henry; EOWG
Subject: Re: the "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

 

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 (FUD).

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 slides.

 

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

34aLabs

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 19:52:26 GMT

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