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Re: Philosophy of WCAG (thanks Matt)

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 08:02:10 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Yes, Kynn,

         Folks in this discussion frequently use Nielsen as an expert so 
I've been to his site many times, and those comments truly irk! What an 
annoying and irritating element to have on his web site! It's presence 
there keeps me from comprehending anything else he says. <grin>

         Neilsen may never follow Guideline 3.4, but if he's stops 
maintaining his site is "accessible", it's OK by me. It's his site - he 
pays for it. My target is first and foremost government sites,  which are 
currently text-heavy and obtuse ... I cry every time I think about what 
Bush did to the White House site, when he discontinued the highly graphic, 
attractive, and very useful White House for Kids done by Clinton staff, and 
put up a useless page marker on the link. I wonder if the Kid's page was 
something "destroyed when they left" that the news talked about for a day 
or two.

         Kynn, I have a very dear friend who is text-dependent. He cannot 
make pictures in his mind as most of us do ... there is nothing there. When 
he's described this to teachers, I've heard comment such as "well how do 
you understand what you read then", and he does so without the pictures he 
says "we" depend on ... <grin> Anyway, this long time text-oriented person 
invested in a digital camera and software to edit pictures, and once he 
learned how easily he could create art, he went to town with it, and now 
can do more with his software than I can do with mine. So, I know that 
folks who were once solely stimulated by text on the Internet, are as 
delighted with what they can do graphically and in other modality once they 
take the plunge.


At 03:11 PM 7/30/01 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>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

Anne Pemberton

Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2001 09:25:55 UTC

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