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Re: bcab 10 Downing Street site: an opportunity?

From: Stella O'Brien <smo-brien@lioness.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 11:05:25 +0000
To: Peter Bosher <peter@soundlinks.com>
Cc: bcab@cs.man.ac.uk, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, webwatch-l@teleport.com, basr-l@trace.wisc.edu
Message-ID: <893844556.2018687.0@lioness.demon.co.uk>
('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) essage-Id: <l03130301b16ca56581c4@DialupEudora> In-Reply-To: <199804241103.MAA22316@dns1.enterprise.net> Greetings Peter et al., >The new website for number 10 Downing street was launched recently as >part of the UK government's "IT for All" initiative. >>It is, by a long stretch, the most astonishingly inaccessible site I >have ever experienced. >just how inaccessible it is, and, from the HTML experts, precisely what >is wrong. I shall of course run it through Bobby but need some human >intelligence too. Yes, the site is staggeringly inaccessible to the point where it is a paradigm of its type. Those of you who read my feature on this topic of 1996, or the paper I wrote and delivered at WWW6 last year will not be surprised if I make the following points: 1 Although the HTML is infelicitous at various points (OK - quite a number), the inaccessibility is to be attributed to more than this. As with language compiling - the HTML at this site could be technically perfect - yet it would still be inaccessible. 2 The design, look and feel, etc. of the site breach several very well established Computer-Human Interface guidelines, as well as most (if not all) web accessibility guidelines 3 The design of the site is flawed from the perspective of accessibility and information retrieval (rather than browsing) 4 The information architecture which underpins the site is poor I am very disappointed that the site is so inaccessible. I have been discussing the issue of web accessibility with the Dept. of Trade and Industry's Information Society Initiative since its inception in August 1996 - I was of course stressing the importance of the accessibility of the Internet and company Intranets and its implications for the employment opportunities of people with disabilities. I persuaded the DTI and ISI people to include some text about accessibility in their series of booklets for the general public and for small to medium size enterprises. I am concerned that there appears to have been no cross-fertilisation of ideas within the ISI which includes IT for All. I have mailed them again in an attempt to understand the communication breakdown. I would be very interested in further discussion. With Best Wishes - Received on Wednesday, 29 April 1998 06:14:04 GMT

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