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Re: Jonathan's Analysis of the WAI Homepage

From: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:52:39 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 10:45 AM 4/16/00 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At 07:40 PM 4/12/2000 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>>An important point to remember is that what is usability for a large
group of
>>people may amount to accessibilty for a smaller group. THink of curb-cuts in
>>the physical world...
>But it's also to remember that not all usability problems faced by
>people with disabilities are automatically accessibility problems.
>For example, the user interface to the HWG's online education program
>is generally pretty poor -- it confuses people (blind and non-blind
>students alike) but when someone who is blind asked me if our
>interface is accessible, I answered, yes, it is -accessible-, because
>it's equally unusable by people with or without disabilities!
So if we would make tall enough barriers instead of curb-cuts they would be
accessible because everybody would suffer or not accessible if there could
still be couple of very athletic people jumping over?

I think that especially when we start thinking about CD, usability becomes
a greater issue for accessibility. In  my opinion a non-usable site (for
generic users) cannot be very accessible for disabled. Usually the site is
designed for some purpose and if no-one can achieve their goals does not
help users with special needs at all.

Ofcourse usability can be defined and measured in many ways so there might
be some cases were I agree with you. For instance, it might be that users
not relying on visual information might find an otherwise non-usable
graphic site accessible. But I wouldn't call the site generally accessible
(or usable) in that case. It would just be accessible for that user group,
in that context for achieving certain goals.


>So while I agree that there are some areas of overlap between
>"usability for a larger group and accessibility for a smaller group,"
>I caution us to remember that this is not a general rule.
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
>Director of Accessibility, edapta                  http://www.edapta.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>AWARE Center Director                         http://www.awarecenter.org/
>Next of Kynn: a quasi-regular web log           http://www.kynn.com/next/
Received on Sunday, 16 April 2000 16:59:26 UTC

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