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Re: Labelling web page functionality for blind users

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 22:16:08 -0600
Message-Id: <200002140306.WAA388184@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Scott Luebking wrote:
>  Hi, Gregory
>  Suppose that you were appearing before a congressional sub-committee.

First off, from my perspective this would be a waste.  The NFB and ACB can
take care of talking to Congress.  We can't waste technical talent like
Gregory on that.  We need him working at .com intensity on synthesizing the
better answer for how to do it.  Not dickering over what to call it.

>  How would you argue before them why no functionality provided on
>  web pages should be labelled as being appropriate for blind users?

There are two basic reasons:

One is that this is not very descriptive.  The appropriateness of page or
site functions for users depends on more things than their level of visual
function.  It would be better to describe what the page function actually
does, so blind and sighted users alike can better discern for themselves if
they want to use the function.

The other is the labeling issue.  For better or for worse a lot of people
carry around in their hearts a negative stigma attached to blindness.  Many
blind people have internalized this.  So if two ways to describe the
functionality are equally
informative, it is still better to avoid the stigmatized language.

>  Why would this be of benefit to most blind web users of various levels
>  of computer/web sophistication?

A more descriptive designation than "good for blind" would be better for
blind users because they could better tell if it were really good for
_them_.  And it would be better for sighted users because they, too would
have a better clue on which to choose to use or not use that function.  And
it would be better for the blind users because not so many of them would be
offended by being singled out on the basis of what they may feel is an
infirmity, or may feel is looked down on by others.


>  Scott
Received on Sunday, 13 February 2000 22:06:40 UTC

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