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Re: Textual Images vs. Styled Text, Round Two *ding*

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 10:15:09 -0700
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000929100500.00aa4630@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
Cc: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>, WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 09:58 AM 9/29/2000 , Alan J. Flavell wrote:
>This is what I mean when I talk about a designer being "more
>interested in achieving their effects" than in communicating the
>content to the user.

Maybe they're more interested in achieving their effects _which
serve the purpose of communicating the content to the vast
majority of users_.

Most web designers are not stupid.  Most web designers are not
hopelessly self-absorbed people who sit around designing web
pages for the sake of design.

Most web designers _do_ know that their goal is to communicate
information.

It is foolish to assume that they are making mistakes with the
goal of _reducing_ access; on the contrary, they feel that they
are _increasing_ access by making their site more dynamic, more
exciting to use, easier functioning.

This is why so many web designers get insulted by the typical
web accessibility attitude of "we know better how the web should
be used, and you are using it ALL WRONG and you are clearly
MALICIOUS and TRYING TO EXCLUDE PEOPLE."

Alan, earlier this month you wrote the following, about the idea
that "text only pages" are the only way to make things accessible:
>Yes: but where did THAT idea come from?  I've never seen the point of
>it myself.  Oftentimes when someone promotes that as a "solution" to
>web accessibility, and I have the chance to ask them a few questions,
>it becomes clear that they have never used a text-mode browser
>themselves, and haven't the slightest idea how such a browser would
>behave.  So, just where this idea of a need for text-only pages
>originally comes from, still seems a mystery to me.

Alan, try real hard to put yourself in the mindset of a graphic
artist and look at this thread over the last week or so.  You will
find _exactly_ where the idea comes from!

Many people are arguing that textual images _should not be used_.
Not that there's ways to _make_ them accessible -- no, they just
plain are a threat to accessibility and should be eliminated.  The
valid points that web designers will make -- such as "how do you
do a drop shadow without graphic images?" or "but you can't
preserve the look of the site in older browsers with CSS!" -- are
being discounted with "they are in the wrong medium" or "those
concerns are worthless."

Alan, can you now see why web designers feel that most web
accessibility advocates are calling for text-only pages?

If you can't -- then it's no surprise why we continually produce
web accessibility guidelines which get ignored and misunderstood
by graphic artists.

--Kynn

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                    http://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/
Accessibility Roundtable Web Broadcast           http://kynn.com/+on24
What's on my bookshelf?                         http://kynn.com/books/
Received on Friday, 29 September 2000 13:39:28 GMT

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