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Re: Meeting agenda

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 08:31:30 -0400 (EDT)
To: Marti <marti@agassa.com>
cc: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0104120817120.18863-100000@tux.w3.org>
Short version: It is theoretically possible that a blind person cannot make
an accessible website. But I don't believe that is true. Because there are
ways of allowing blind programmers to illustrate their content meaningfully.

We cannot decide to remove a requirement that some users have because it may
be hard for some people to meet it. It is important for us to explain how to
make content accessible, and it is important for the Authoring Tools group
and the Evaluation and Repair group to explain how to make this process
possible for all authors.

Long version:
Well, it may in fact be possible that blind programmers cannot produce
accessible websites on their own. It may be possible, equally, that people
who are not literate cannot produce accessible websites on their own either.

Actually, it is not as bad as that. Creating images is one thing, and even
there it is not impossible. Masafumi Nakane has been blind since before he
can remember, but has a digital camera, and with a minimal amount of help can
use it to illustrate pages about where he has been and what he has been
doing. If I were deaf, I would still be able to record an audio file that
illustrated how a screen reader works (or not) with a given page. (Actually,
that is effectively how I do it - I have to rely on visual cues since making
the reccording I don't hear anything).

It is at this point that tools become extremely important - there are ways of
collecting and labelling images. If those images are themselves accessible,
then someone who cannot create the image themselves can still have enough
information about it to make an appropriate decision about whether to use it.
Much like a person who is a non-reader can still work out whether or not to
make a link to a site based on its content, if that content is accessible to

It is important to recognise that I  am actually disagreeing with the idea
that a single person with a disability cannot make an accessible website.

However, I do not think it is this group's responsibility to work out how the
authoring process works for people with disabilities (in particular). That is
a role that I think is shared by the AU and ER groups. On the other hand, I
think it would make a good addition to what we include in techniques to have
pointers to tool techniques and tools that enable the authoring.

I think this is a complex topic, but I think I've said enough on it for one



On Thu, 12 Apr 2001, Marti wrote:

  > I subsection of 3 needs to explicitely state that illustrations MUST be
  > present if text is there. This needs to be of the highest priority.
   It seems to me that requiring illustrations as a high priority item would
  mean that blind programmers could not produce "accessible" websites. I know
  I keep going back to this, but it really seems we need a common vocabulary
  of illustrations (like road signs in Europe), and perhaps a language
  construct to support their use (alt_img anyone?)

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2001 08:31:38 UTC

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