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RE: Disability Type Analysis of WCAG 1.0

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 14:59:10 -0700
To: "WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Yet another email that leads me to wonder why it needed to be said on-list.
Clearly the problem is me, me, me. Before I showed up, everything was just
hunky-dory in this group.

The way to determine whether our checkpoints are appropriately specific,
IMO, is to ask whether they are appropriately specific, not to engage in
some sort of parity test. If you see a checkpoint that could be subsumed
into another, suggest it. If you see a checkpoint that needs to be made more
specific or split into two or more checkpoints, suggest it.

Why are we looking at things in a way that seems guaranteed to spread hate
and discontent? Why polarize the issue by counting "blind" checkpoints and
"deaf" checkpoints and implying that there is some equation that we should
be applying to make it all work out? This is divisive, not inclusive.

I guess that I am a very poor communicator. I have been writing since the
day I got on this list to encourage a more inclusive view of accessibility:
that we should be concerned not with access for people with disabilities,
but for access for everyone *regardless* of disability. The first is
exclusive (thus divisive), the second is inclusive.

So far my suggestions have included separating the guidelines (or
modularizing them), which would have given the comprehensibility guideline
more weight. I've recommended being more specific about checkpoint 3.3,
which would have given comprehensibility more weight. I've recommended
subsuming 1.4 and possibly 1.5 into 1.3, which would have given
comprehensibility more weight. In fact, I can't think of anything I've done
since joining this list which wouldn't have given more weight to
comprehensibility (thus to cognitive issues). Yet somehow I seem to have
been painted as someone who promotes the needs of the blind over those of
the cognitively disabled.

I've written to say that I think bad science is a bad idea. The result? I am
trying to suppress science. I am assumed so naive as to believe that bad
science only occurs on this list, that it isn't epidemic out in the "real"

I don't really care what Kynn's motives were for publishing the results of
his survey to the IG list. For all I know, they were entirely positive. I
only questioned his motives because he questioned mine. Heck, let's get them
all out in the open (and please, let's stop pretending that we're all here
for the same reasons -- we can be here for different reasons without that
implying some sort of moral judgment).

If a person says "I'm here to promote the needs of people with X
disabilities," then that's fine with me. I believe in advocacy. Now I know
what that person's priorities are. That might be a good person to work on
those checkpoints dealing with X disabilities, but probably not the person
to work on checkpoints for Y disabilities. I don't think this person is
somehow lesser than me because he or she has a cause (hell, people like that
often make me feel ineffective by comparison).

Somehow the content of my posts seems to have been overshadowed by quirks of
their presentation, despite my best efforts to avoid such problems.
Apologies to all for my failures.

Perhaps this points out just how difficult it is to ensure
comprehensibility. If it weren't for the feedback I've been getting, how
would I have known that my messages weren't getting across? Further evidence
that without some sort of user feedback mechanism, all attempts at ensuring
comprehensibility are no more than guesswork.

I think we've beaten this issue to death. In fact, it hasn't moved in some
time. I'm going to move on.

Chas. Munat

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anne Pemberton [mailto:apembert@erols.com]
> Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2001 1:36 PM
> To: Charles F. Munat; WAI Guidelines WG
> Subject: RE: Disability Type Analysis of WCAG 1.0
> Chas,
>          How about stopping with the motives. We are all here for
> the same
> reasons as you. You questioned mine, but when I tried to move the
> discussion offlist, you told me never to write to you again. What is it
> with you judging everyone's motives?
>          Yes, it Version 2.0 is long overdue, but that is no
> reason to rush
> into something that clearly isn't ready.
>          You seem intent on a romantic vision of "scientists" and their
> role in life. In the real world "scientists" don't swoop down in
> a red cape
> to experiment out all problems. Many are solved long before
> "science" gets
> around to it.
>          On possibility that could arise from the discussion of more
> checkpoints for the blind than for other disabilities is that
> some of those
> checkpoints could be effectively combined as techniques under a
> more global
> checkpoint. Another outcome could be more attention to the needs of other
> disability groups and make sure their needs and preferences are as well
> supported as others ... Other outcomes that I can't imagine are just as
> likely to come, and be even more impressive.
>          "Stop with the negative waves, already" <quoting Donald
> Sutherland
> in Kelly's Heroes> ....
>                                          Anne
>                                                  Anne
> At 12:47 PM 8/25/01 -0700, Charles F. Munat wrote:
> >Since we're getting motives out in the open, let's get them all out. I've
> >explained mine; how about if you explain yours? It would go a long way
> >towards assuaging my "fears."
> >
> >Chas. Munat
> Anne Pemberton
> apembert@erols.com
> http://www.erols.com/stevepem
> http://www.geocities.com/apembert45
Received on Saturday, 25 August 2001 17:56:49 UTC

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