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Re: One of those pesky questions

From: Judy Brewer <JBrewer@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 11:05:00 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: "Mike Burks" <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Yes, essentially the "universal design" argument, couched in a strong
business case.  This has been going over well in presentations to date, is
part of the reason for the recent new interest in WAI I've mentioned in a
parallel posting, and so is one of the earlier pieces we will formally
write up as education & outreach materials.

- Judy

At 10:49 AM 3/3/98 -0500, Mike Burks wrote:
>I would like to add my voice in support of this idea.  One of the things
>that the WAI could do is help Industry see what they have to gain in real
>terms by making things accessible.  For example, cell phones that access the
>web or e-mail via sound use essentially the same technology as screen
>readers.  These will be used by mainstream users.  I have been thinking that
>a great deal of other "assistive technology" will also be used in the
>mainstream.  If we can point out this advantage to these companies I believe
>it will go a long way towards gaining support for this initiative.
>Mike Burks
>The opinions expressed above are mine and do not necessarily reflect those
>of my employer.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mike Paciello <paciello@yuri.org>
>To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Cc: paciello@yuri.org <paciello@yuri.org>
>Date: Tuesday, March 03, 1998 10:33 AM
>Subject: Re: One of those pesky questions
>>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 11:05:05 UTC

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