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RE: Definition of Accessible

From: Chris O'Kennon <chris@vipnet.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:30:48 -0400
Message-ID: <BCECCA7B3D37D611ABC5009027D6228A0402F4@iexch1.vipnet.org>
To: "'GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU'" <GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Here in the state of Virginia, even though we may talk about being
"accessible" or "not accessible" amongst ourselves, we have been told by our
Attorney General's Office that it is far better to say offciially that we
are "compliant" with certain guidelines, than accessible.  As Gregg said,
nothing can ever be fully accessible.
Chris O'Kennon
Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster/
VIPNet Portal Architect
www.myvirginia.org <http://www.myvirginia.org/> 
I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 2:01 PM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Definition of Accessible

I think we need to watch our use of terminology here.  

Especially the term "accessible". 



If we say that things are accessible - we need to say that everything is
accessible or nothing is ever accessible.  There is no middle ground if we
are going to make blanket statements.




1)  We NEVER declare something as accessible or not.

2)  We ONLY talk about 

    a) things being accessible to individuals or to people with particular


    b) things meeting particular accessibility standards.


If we talk about (a) things being accessible to groups of individuals then
we should carefully and fully list the characteristics including presence or
lack of any other disabilities  - including cognitive level)




Rationale for not ever declaring things as accessible or inaccessible

There is always someone who cannot use something - no matter how we design
it.  If we make blanket statements that things are accessible we will always
be wrong. (unless we mean accessible to some - which is always true and
therefore not useful). 


Rationale for only talking about accessibility as applying to individuals or
as compliance

The only thing that seems to be accurate is to talk about whether some
person can use them.   But we need to be specific or we end up saying that
people with XYZ disability can use it - when only people with XYZ who are
also computer literate or don't have any other disabilities or .....


We CAN say that things meet a particular standard.  When we talk about
accessible buildings, that is what we are saying.  They are not usable by
everyone.  But they do meet a standard.



Your thoughts?






Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.

Ind Engr - Biomed - Trace,  Univ of Wis






< SNIP > 

> No, I don't think it is possible to make that particular piece of satire

> accessible. In general I think satire is a very difficult thing to make

> accessible, and I don't believe that many people intend it to be generally

> so.

Received on Wednesday, 12 June 2002 16:30:46 UTC

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