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Re[2]: Ability taxonomy bh

From: <jim@arkenstone.org>
Date: Wed, 28 May 97 06:00:52
Message-Id: <9704288648.AA864824452@arken.arkenstone.org>
To: dd@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
CC: w3c-wai-wg@w3.org, pcoelho@u.washington.edu

 From Paul's recent message:
 >In Greg's recent e-mail to both of us he makes a point that for
>the nonblind or nonhearing disabled population it is the browser and 
>hardware which need modification rather than the source code (html, xml, 
>css,etc). This strikes me as true.  Most of the disabilities that I see 
>are motor or cognitive imparements, sometimes involving partial or 
>temporary loss of one of the senses, ie vision, touch, etc. 
>Consequently, with respect to your questions about how the W3C can 
>modify css, xml, html, etc to suit the disabled as a whole- rather than 
>subpopulations of disable- the answer may be that you can not. 
     I don't think you should assume that people interested in vision 
     impairments are only interested in the source problems.  Our group at 
     Arkenstone is actually more concerned about providing usable browsers 
     to our typical reading machine user (blind, low vision, dyslexic) who 
     wants access to the information on the Web because optical character 
     recognition is tough on newspapers.  They can't begin to use the 
     existing solutions, which are aimed at sophisticated blind computer 
     users (and still manage to frustrate them, albeit often on source 
     We expect to work on simplified user interfaces and supporting these 
     users, and looking to the Web community to deliver greater 
     accessibility in the source material.  The WAI process is definitely 
     focused more on the source issues than on serving and supporting 
     individuals with disabilities directly.   The Web fosters a "if we 
     build it, they will come" attitude, which is true of only a fraction 
     of the people with disabilities who need these capabilities even more 
     than their nondisabled colleagues who have other options to get access 
     to much of the information on the Web.  
     Still, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the work being 
     contemplated in the WAI process so far is a prerequisite to any effort 
     in this field.  We can address the issues of getting this technology 
     into the hands of more of the people who need it, when the technology 
     has more of the hooks that it needs to support them, and source 
     developers have an easy way of supporting those hooks.
  Jim Fruchterman                    jim@arkenstone.org
  President                          Arkenstone, Inc.
  555 Oakmead Parkway                1-800-444-4443
  Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA            1-408-245-5900
  "Information Access for Everyone!" Fax: 1-408-328-8484
Received on Wednesday, 28 May 1997 08:58:15 UTC

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