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: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 08:22:22 -0700
Message-ID: <11f901c12b1e$451a9db0$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@reef.com>, "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
> Matt, the W3C has had the issue of cognitive disabilities before them for
> two years. Probably longer, but I've been here two years. Progress has
> impeded by the number of new members who had difficulty accepting that the
> need was addressable. The most obvious and simple solution - to provide
> images/graphics/pictures/illustrations has been ridiculed.

Anne, it's been "ridiculed" because it's not a solution. I've wasted far too
much time trying to argue the point to try it again here.

> Really, I don't think that "understanding" the other disabilities is much
> of an excuse. Understanding those disabilities and the needs and obstacles
> they face should be the responsibility of everyone working on these

As I said, the bias toward vision is simple: vision-related checkpoints are
the most common and the most provable. Furthermore, if you asked anyone
involved in the web whom web accessibility benefits, I'd bet that 90% would
respond "the blind" as #1 or #2 unprompted. Why? Because they had to put all
those alt tags in their sites.

In the legislative meetings I've been a party to, I know there's very little
time to say something like, "well, Ms. Lawmaker, let me tell you a little
about achromatopsia..." I also know that I've had to sell accessibility to
executives in 30 seconds in the hall. Now, I'm confident that EO is
well-versed in making the argument for all forms of disability, but if
visually-impaired users are the easiest for people to conceptualize, and it
causes accessibility as a whole to gain traction, so be it. It is a step
forward, and that is what advocacy is all about.

Anne, a rising tide lifts all boats. This has been my core value all along.
I am not as concerned with perceptions related to disability and
accessibility as I am with checkpoints that cannot reasonably and provably
be satisfied, and the experience here in the U.S. shows that the legislators
who have adopted portions of WCAG 1 agree with me. I would rather have a
reasonable document that content providers will accept willingly than an
ambitious document that will be picked apart, or a rigid document that won't
be supported at all.


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Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2001 11:22:37 UTC

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