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re:development WAI activities

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 07:26:57 -0800
Message-ID: <34F97E41.6A834D31@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Jaap writes: "I serve the net for more then two years now and
unfortunately I must say: the longer I do it, the more difficult it
becomes.  But although the discussions were interesting, they did not
really hit the real problems I had when using the web."

WL::  The "becoming more difficult" part is perhaps universal in that as
"cool" enters, usability (insofar as getting information or interacting
with sites) suffers, even for those of us with functioning retinae.  The
part about "interesting discussions" is more troubling because we are
all obviously commited to doing something about reducing the
"difficulty" - but as Jaap points out we *must* attend to the "real
problems...using the web."

WL::  It is imperative that more users who are the targets of our
efforts be brought into this thing and above all else *HEEDED*.  If any
"wisdom" has come from my loooonnnng involvement in this area it is that
the client is whom to serve.  The most important thing I try to get
across to the folks working on these problems is that you have to spend
a little time in the "shoes of another" in order to really understand
how severe these problems are.  Spend a little time with the monitor off
and the mouse out of use.  I thought I understood what that meant and
disdained doing it in the interest of "saving time" in writing programs,
etc. but unless you actually "dance that dance" for a good length of
time it will not get through clearly.

WL::  We are fortunate to have several "people with disabilities"
working with us on these things and it behooves to get the maximum
benefit from their counsel and experience.  You can't know what it's
like to be blind by closing your eyes or wearing a blindfold for a few
hours.  You can't know what it's like to use a speech synthesizer by
listening to a demo or even a few minutes of PWWebSpeak.  These are
experiential things, not just "understandings".  Mea Culpa a lot and I
urge all of us to attend very carefully what Gregory, Jaap, and others
have to say.
Received on Sunday, 1 March 1998 10:28:48 UTC

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