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Re: One of those pesky questions

From: Judy Brewer <JBrewer@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 10:56:43 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: phoenixl@netcom.com, paciello@yuri.org
Funny, I had the opposite impression.  I've been very impressed at the
positive response from W3C member companies, particularly following the W3C
Advisory Committee meeting in San Jose in January.  A number of companies
have been talking with us since that meeting, looking at ways to promote
and implement the WAI Page Author Guidelines, other upcoming guideline
sets, and accessibility improvements that are coming out in the technical
specifications; and to support our work.  There are a few "new kids on the
block" who eagerly jumped in on the press release on the working draft (Feb
3), and more who are interested.  I'm also pleased at the companies which
have already joined the discussions in the various working groups, and
other companies that are considering joining, expressly with an interest in
integrating accessibility improvements into their products.  

- Judy

At 10:20 AM 3/3/98 -0500, Mike Paciello wrote:
>I'd second Scott's thought with an additional note. Browsing as we know it
>today is changing rapidly, particularly in the area of display interfaces.
>Kiosks, TV's, cell phones, cars, watches, consumer electronic products,
>etc..etc... all are being equipped with web based, wireless display
>interfaces. Sun, SpyGlass, Netscape, IBM, Adobe and a host of telco and
>cable manufacturers already have made the investment. Without their
>"buy-in", the WAI battle becomes much more difficult and, perhaps, somewhat
>I am of the humble opinion that our "battle" would be much easier if more
>emphasis was placed on education, awareness, and outreach (with a subtle,
>but powerful PR strategy) geared at helping industry and, ultimately,
>resulting in gaining their support. 
>After all the hard work that the Guidelines WG has put in over the past
>several months, I haven't had any inkling that the W3C is gaining
>membership support for the WAI. I really wonder what's going on in the
>minds of those 200+ members. Since the release of the guidelines, are W3C
>members eager to implement and "advertise" their support? Clearly IBM and
>Microsoft have been there right from the start (thank goodness)...But I
>really would like to see "new kids on the block", demonstrating similar
>support and zeal. 
>Sorry for getting off on a tangent...and I am in no way trying to
>dishearten the outstanding work already accomplished...but it comes right
>back to what Scott indicated below -- development without participation =
>zero integration.
>- Mike   
>At 06:40 AM 3/3/98 -0800, Scott Luebking wrote:
>>Both the au and ui groups are meeting via phone this week.  I'm afraid
>>I keep having one of those pesky questions cropping up for me.
>>Basically, how many browser companies have shown a willingness to
>>modify their browser software.  Various browser companies may show
>>something like moral support.  However, this type of support can
>>be fairly cheap.  What happens when they need to expend resources
>>for changing their software to include accessibility?  For example,
>>as near as I can tell, Netscape has not shown any interest in taking
>>on the chore of modifying their browser software to include
>>aceesibility aspects.  If the WAI decides what is needed in browsers
>>without participation of browser companies, the browser companies
>>will have less a sense of ownership of the issues and will be more
>>reluctant to make changes to their software.
Judy Brewer   jbrewer@w3.org     617-258-9741
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139 USA
Received on Tuesday, 3 March 1998 10:57:11 UTC

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