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Re: Philosophy of WCAG (thanks Matt)

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 15:11:29 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Cc: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 01:35 PM 7/30/2001 , Anne Pemberton wrote:
>         It is not just companies and web authors who need to expand their understanding of the human element in failing to address accessibility. While you expect a clamor if a site put a sign out saying "this site is not intended for use by the blind." what do you expect if you say "This site has no illustrations since we don't know how to do them well, and we just don't care about people who need and want them anyway".

Aha, you've been reading Jakob Nielsen's website, I see. ;)  (I
think he needs a kick in the head for his "why this site has 
almost no graphics" essay, personally.)

If someone just doesn't care about -anyone- who has specific needs,
there really is not much we can do about, Anne.  For example, if
someone says "This page has no ALT text because blind people should
go someplace else," there's little that WAI can do about it.  We
need to be careful about making the assumption that we can do
-anything- about folks who stubbornly refuse to change what they
are doing.

Instead, our "target audience" looks something like this:  "Web
developers, with a moderate level of experience (can add/remove
tags and attributes from HTML source), who desire to make their
sites more accessible to a wider audience which includes people
with diverse disabilities."

Notice that I don't say -why- they desire it; ultimately the 
"why" is less important than the "how".  They might desire it
for legal reasons, or moral reasons, or practical/economic

But if they have -no- desire to make their pages more accessible,
then we can't really help them, can we?


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Monday, 30 July 2001 18:20:31 UTC

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