W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > March 1999

RE: Respect for the POV of group members

From: Silas S. Brown <ssb22@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 15:40:53 +0000
To: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E10HUob-0005pX-00@green.csi.cam.ac.uk>

Well Jonathan's point is independent of how good his page is, but the 
problem is that it's not so much a question of making your site 
*accessible* to these people as making it *for* these people.  Although 
I think it would be good to have at least a text link "About this site" 
or something, to let everyone else know what's going on (and perhaps 
provide some useful information about learning disabilities etc).

Unfortunately people with learning disabilities can't comprehend most 
information no matter what form it is in.  There is no way that I can 
make, for example, the Cambridge University Computer Society site 
http://www.cam.ac.uk/CambUniv/Societies/cucs/ accessible to people with 
learning disabilities (if there is, I'd like to know).  Jonathan's 
complaint that there is a shortage of good sites for these people is 
probably because there are few people out there who are suitably 
qualified to produce them.  Not everybody knows how to produce a good 
site for people with learning disabilities.  Presumably the problems 
with peepo.com are a result of desparation.

At any rate, I don't think he's going to get good results in the 
Evaluation and Repair group, because most of the information available 
on the web is fundamentally inaccessible to these people, regardless of 
how you repair it.  You can't expect the whole world to come down to the 
level of a three-year-old (otherwise the World Wide Web wouldn't exist 
anyway).  Perhaps he should create his own interest group?

There is another issue here, though.  If you teach the whole world how 
to write web sites for people with learning disabilities, companies will 
use it to advertise.  I suspect it is very easy to mislead these people 
if you know how.  Perhaps it would be better if the work remained under 
the control of the social services.


-- Silas S Brown, St John's College Cambridge UK http://epona.ucam.org/~ssb22/

"Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the sons of earthling man, to whom
 no salvation belongs." - Psalm 146:3
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 10:41:10 UTC

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