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RE: Bobby output daunting on accessible page from Alaska

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 20:59:01 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net>, "Ana Gutierrez-Scholl" <anaden1@alaska.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>

	I, too, haven't complained to the list about Bobby. I just stopped using
it! At present, I am feeling pretty discouraged about the whole issue of
web assessability. Even tho the guidelines do mention the use of graphics,
it isn't a high priority, lack of graphics causes no outcries, and Bobby
doesn't even note the non-existance of them (at least last time I tried
it). In fact, in training the teachers at my school to create web pages,
I've only mentioned the accessibility issues to the special ed teachers (as
a curiosity) but not to the others because it is still a struggle to get
them to create web pages in the first place, let alone put a lot of issues
in front of them. The web site we are using doesn't make it possible to put
ALT tags on the one-graphic-per page it allows under "simple" pages, and
the graphics they provide are only clip art - not very illustrative. Before
any teachers are doing pages where the issue becomes significant, they must
learn a lot more about making web pages then they are currently anxious to
learn. The audience for the school web pages is well-known: teachers,
parents & students in the county, who do NOT include any blind persons at
all ... and taxpayers in the county, who do NOT include any blind computer
users. Anyone else who visits the web pages, will have to accept them as
they are. ( http://myschoolonline.com/va/dinwiddie , click on schools,
click on Southside Elementary)

	To add to my dismay (which is compounded by the usual
end-of-schoolyear-scambles), a friend who has been a strong advocate of
accessibility for the disabled/blind online for many years, has been
equally frustrated by the reluctance/refusal of blind web page creators to
make their web pages usable by sighted people. I remain very sympathetic to
the critics of accessibility who point out that pages that comply aren't
inviting to those who are visually-dependent, visually-oriented, or simply
strong right hemispheric. Even the recent post from Greg V. puts the need
for graphics on page at the beginning of the list of needs for the
cognitively disabled. But it isn't a front-burner issue for the guidelines
that are supposed to be accommodating ALL with disabilities. It is a sad

	As I see it, the issue should be to FIX the equipment used by those who
cannot see graphics, cannot used side-by-side coluns, and cannot read
tables of information properly. It's probably unnecessary to say these
tools were badly designed from the outset, but reality seems to suggest
that the fix belongs there, not in developing endless fixes that reduce
usability of web pages to visual users including those with disabilities
that make them dependent on vision. 

	Well, this note has turned out to be more honest and straightforward than
I had set out to write. I'll temper the flames it generates.







At 04:49 PM 5/17/2000 -0400, Bruce Bailey wrote:
>Forgive me for asking, but why haven't you complained to the list sooner?
>Have you made your observations known to CAST?  I almost feel like I owe
>them an apology for all my public venting since, apparently, they really ARE
>listening.  Actually, I pretty much curtailed my feedback on the subject
>since I was made to feel like I was in the minority with my belief that
>there were significant usability problems.  Being part of a silent majority
>is not nearly as empowering as being part of a vocal majority!
>I would encourage you (and other people you refer to Bobby) to participate
>in the W3C WAI Interest Group, even if it is only for the short term goal of
>getting accessible pages.  The folks there are very generous with their time
>in helping interested sites become WCAG P1 compliant.
>Most P1 compliant sites achieve a "Bobby Approved" return from CAST's
>service -- but the report will still be quite verbose.
>There is also the issue that, with the contemporary GUI tools available, it
>is VERY difficult to address P1 issues adequately.  In your opinion, is it
>too much to expect educators to learn HTML 3.2?
>Bruce Bailey
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
>> Behalf Of Ana Gutierrez-Scholl
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 11:59 AM
>> To: uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: Bobby output daunting on accessible page from Alaska
>> Just a comment. I appreciate all the comments I have been reading about
>> Bobby and its "daunting output." I am in the process of
>> completing a masters
>> in ed technology and curriculum and development and since I began learning
>> about dissability issues I have tried to ask people to run Bobby when they
>> prepare a website because then they will know that the site may
>> be accessed
>> by people with dissabilities. Every single person that has tried
>> Bobby tells
>> me it is just too hard to get it to certify their sites. It has been very
>> hard for me too; unless I am doing a very simple page. I say this because
>> many people in education are not technologically proficient and
>> the easiest
>> the tool, the most likely people will be to use it.
>> Thanks,
>> Ana
Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Wednesday, 17 May 2000 20:52:21 UTC

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