W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: Higher Profile for Non-Blind Disabled Users

From: Matt May <mcmay@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 19:29:39 -0700
Message-ID: <113d01c12ab2$4d4d6e70$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@reef.com>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@reef.com>
> Policies of these kind scare me because they represent a fundamental
> misunderstanding of what we're all about, which suggests that we
> (WAI participants) may not be doing our jobs effectively.

It's really not so much a fundamental misunderstanding as an

> We need to make sure that people with a wide variety of disabilities
> are "visible" in whatever we produce.  I think we're doing that now,
> but if so, we still need to look at why misinterpretations happen
> anyway.

Here's my quick analysis of why WCAG is associated with the blind:

- Blind advocacy groups are among the most prominent supporters of WCAG,
particularly respecting commercial web sites;
- Visually-impaired users stand to benefit the most from WCAG-compliant
- More needs to be done for visually-impaired users in WCAG 1 than any other
- The checkpoints relating to vision are most often normative, and thus more
compatible with law.

And why other disability categories are generally ignored:

- The progression of web development has meant text before sound, and as a
result hearing-impaired users are impacted less often;
- Motor-related disabilities are generally more extensively supported by
assistive technologies than by content modification;
- Cognitive disabilities are nearly impossible to articulate in the time
necessary to "sell" accessibility;
- Disabilities not related to vision and hearing in particular are not
understood, and therefore, it is difficult to prove value to an otherwise
uninterested party.

I agree that the bias toward vision exists. Still, I can't fault the framers
of WCAG for that bias.


Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2001 22:29:44 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:38 UTC