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RE: Sign language equivalents

From: Slaydon, Eugenia <ESlaydon@beacontec.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 13:51:29 -0500
Message-ID: <D47827B1DE559D458AB76C6E6EADFC669CD201@tortugas.beacontec.com>
To: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>, WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I guess this is an issue I have trouble understanding. This is just my point
of view and not meant to be derogatory. Please enlighten if I'm heading down
the wrong path. I want to understand this issue and right now I'm very
confused on it. :)

If someone is deaf and using sign language to communicate, then sign
language is replacing "the hearing" piece of communication for them. I am
also assuming English as the primary language for this example. That doesn't
mean that "the seeing" piece of communication is missing. Isn't this a case
of "choosing" not to learn or use another means of communication? For
example I can read English but find it difficult or tiresome and would
rather listen to a sound file instead. Can I then say that the content is
inaccessible because it doesn't come in a sound file? It doesn't fit my
unique user need or wish? All of my experience with deaf individuals has
been that they couldn't hear. They could read and write and communicate
effectively with me in that way. In school they were required to learn to
read and write like any other individual. So why do you say that deaf
individuals don't get much benefit from text? Is this because they can't
learn it - or choose not to? If it is a choice then what about the person
who just chooses not to learn to read? To me adding sign language to a site
is the equivalent of adding another language - like spanish or german. It
doesn't mean the site is inaccessible just not in the language of choice.


-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 10:04 AM
Subject: Sign language equivalents

There are a number of communities who really don't get much benefit from
text, but are Deaf and use sign languages. Do our requirements and current
checkpoints enable this sufficiently or not?


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409
134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38
78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
Received on Tuesday, 12 March 2002 13:45:30 UTC

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