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Re: can accessibility be distinguished from usability?

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 06:10:39 -0700
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20010428055512.033562e0@mail.gorge.net>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
Cc: "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 11:08 PM 4/27/01 -0700, Matt May wrote:
>How can browser vendors ensure that their product satisfies the 
>specification without at least the implicit requirement that they 
>understand the issues affecting them? For that matter, how did anyone pass 
>freshman English without reading what was required of them?

The idea isn't to "satisfy the specification" - we are not making 
*requirements* but *guidelines*, i.e. not some ISO standard that enables 
one to measure the steepness of a ramp but *recommendations* we have 
discovered/tested/espoused that make the Web more accessible, in particular 
for people who are, or will certainly become, increasingly less able to 
acquire information from this wonderful network.

As to the "pass freshman English" part, there are countless ways to do that 
not only without reading what was required but without reading at all. I 
never read what was required and Connie Hawkins (and many athletes) could 
have "passed" without even going to class so long as they could win at 
sports. Further the reliance on such absurdities as "IQ >/= 40" have no 
standing. The idea of "priorities" should have been outside our charter but 
it's now going to take up a lot of time/effort/atmothermalization so we 
just have to live with it.

If we recommend that stuff be clear/simple/illustrated/+ and give examples 
and techniques for doing so, we will have contributed to a better WWW and 
if we move away from the idea of a Semantic Web towards a Pedantic Web we 
all suffer, including our clients. We need not fear that our *requirements* 
are too troublesome because the regulators will pick/choose among them 
anyway. At the final level there will be some "rule of law" process in 
which our part is more "expert witness" than "police".

Incidentally I read Godel/Einstein and listen to Bach/Ellington and look at 
Vermeer/Picasso even though my "IQ" in their matters is negligible - it may 
be that our goals are not to regulate but to enable and if we love one 
another enough we can *recommend* stuff that might help in said enablement.
--
Love.
                 ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE
Received on Saturday, 28 April 2001 09:09:37 GMT

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