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RE: 'Non-economic' rationale for backward compatibility

From: <gian@stanleymilford.com.au>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 16:42:51 +1100
Message-Id: <H00000e0003cf110.1014961370.tux.sofcom.com.au@MHS>
TO: goliver@accease.com, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
I'm adding my two cents worth. [Graham let me know if you want me to
research anything]


From today's meeting.

In terms of people with disabilities....

'What are the reasons (not to do with money) that mean
that it's a good idea to ensure that web pages are
backwards compatible.'?

1. Assistive technology takes time to catch up with
developments in technology for non-disabled people.
Example: JAWS does not deal with Java, Flash etc. Thus the need to
author without reliance on these tools

2. People with disabilities (especially those with
cognitive disabilities) may find it harder to recognise
the importance or value of upgrading their software.
and may find it more difficult to actually upgrade (as in going through
the motions of upgrading a site- does anyone have any information on the
accessibility of install programs?)

3. It takes time for non-English (internationalised)
versions of software to be produced.
I don't think this falls under our charter.

4. Technologies that have been built for accessibility often only focus
on one area (needs rewrite)
For example there has been a lot of discussion about the latest Adobe
version being compatible with screen-readers, however if the document
has images in the text then these images can't be represented through a
screen-reader (unless an alternative exists).

Cheers
Graham

AccEase Ltd : Making on-line information accessible
Phone : +64 9 846 6995
Email : goliver@accease.com
Received on Friday, 1 March 2002 00:45:28 GMT

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