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contact with developers (was RE: webwatch-l What To Do About .gif Files)

From: Chetz Colwell <C.G.Colwell@herts.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 97 18:33:03 GMT
Message-Id: <b0a8a69e020210033427@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Kelly Ford wrote:
>What would be nice is for some of the content
>developers to get on board the accessibility campaigns.  But individual
>letters from people probably aren't going to convince them of this so I
>wonder what might be done.  Is there an arm of the web accessibility
>efforts that reaches out to content developers like the Orange County

As part of my research I am intending to contact developers to find out how
they would like to learn about accessibility.  It seems to be important to
discover whether they would like to read Guidelines and use checklists, or
use automatic checkers like Bobby, or attend courses or workshops, or, as
Kelly suggests, if they use authoring tools, whether they think these
should produce accessible HTML.  Or, indeed, whether they would like a
combination of all these things!  In my opinion, if we can find out how
people would prefer to be educated, we have a much better chance of

It may be that some developers have never thought about access for people
with disabilities let alone how, for example, a blind person uses the Web.
Therefore developers may also like to learn more about these practicalities
in order to put guidelines etc into a more real context.

It is also possible that the person who creates a page does not have any
control over some aspects of its design.  I came across an interesting
situation recently where a researcher for a large UK company was creating
Web pages for his particular project.  The pages contained frames, very
small fonts, and clashing text and background colours.  When I asked about
this he said that all of these things were imposed on him by the company's
webmaster and so my contact had no control over it.  Obviously, there are
many different layers here for us to consider.

As I am just beginning this part of my research, I would be happy to hear
from anyone who has any interesting ideas about how to go about this.


Chetz Colwell
Sensory Disabilities Research Unit
Department of Psychology
University of Hertfordshire
AL10 9AB
Tel: 01707 284630
e-mail: c.g.colwell@herts.ac.uk
Received on Monday, 1 December 1997 13:28:31 UTC

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