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Re: Title on horizontal rule

From: Peter Bosher <peter@soundlinks.com>
Date: Thu Oct 30 16:31:10 1997
Message-Id: <199710302130.VAA05317@mail.enterprise.net>
To: <phoenixl@netcom.com>
CC: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Greetings,

I think the picture Scott paints is valid more often than we'd like, but
it is up to the trainer to pre-empt this scenario, and to WAI to help
provide the resources.

This is because the reaction Scott describes, i.e. shock and perplexity
at the idea of not being allowed to use the latest fancy techniques
because they would jeopardise accessibility, comes from missing the point
of the Universal Design argument.

When I present training sessions on web accessibility, the one message
I'm most keen to get across is that no-one is being asked to sacrifice
quality, sex-appeal, glitz, or anything else that a commercial company
expects from a top Web site.   This is reminiscent of the old argument
about text-versions of sites which tend to end up as the poor relation
rapidly going out-of-date and missing the most exciting content to be
found on the main graphical site.

I am convinced that it is possible to have the best of both worlds, as
intended by the good souls working on CSS, AAJ, DOM and so-on, but what
we need in order to convince site-designers of this, are examples of
sites which are generally agreed to be leading-edge, both in terms of
appearance/style, and usability by disabled people, together with short
and simple indications as to how this was achieved (incorporated into
non-forbidding digestible guidelines).  I see this as one of WAI's core
tasks ...

As a blind person, I don't feel qualified to judge the visual sexiness
of sites.   I can value a site for content and ease of navigation, but
there needs to be some close and well-conceived collaboration between
TAB's and people with different disabilities, in order to establish what,
in practice, is actually meant by universal design, and use this as hard
evidence.

None of this is new to the likes of Greg, but I feel it gets overlooked
all too easily by some, and asking for too much, or rather the wrong
things, is the quickest way to alienate mainstream designers and
marginalise the movement.

Thoughts?

Peter.

On 1997-10-30 phoenixl@netcom.com said:
   >Hi,
   >I was wondering if anyone has been doing a long term follow-up to
   >trainings on web accessibility.  A pattern I think I'm seeing seems
   >to be:
   >1.  Attend workshop
   >2.  Be exposed to unexpected problems on web pages
   >3.  Be appreciative of the exposure
   >4.  Go back to work
   >5.  Realize the implications of the technology gap, i.e. extra work,
   >conflicts on whether to take advantage of modern inaccessible
   >technology 6.  Go into shock
   >7.  Do some easy stuff
   >8.  Put rest on "to do" list for when there's some free time
   >I ran into one attendee from the UC Berkeley workshop at a coffee
   >shop who was fairly frustrated in trying to be accessible and be
   >current like her manager wants the site to be.  Her question was
   >who is responsible for making sure that accessibility is current
   >with the technology.  Is it her responsibility to compensate for
   >the failings of the technology world and/or the disabled world
   >in letting the technology gap develop?
   >Scott
Received on Thursday, 30 October 1997 16:31:10 GMT

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