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RE: Recruiting software companies ( was One of those pesky questi ons

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 08:37:57 +1100 (EST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980305082832.12732K-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
addressing scott's comments below:
Not all the browser companies are US based - Opera, which has addressed 
many accessibility issues, and overall done well, is Norwegian. Arachne, 
which is currently pretty poor on accessibility, is from the Czech 
republic. And not all the world is convinced that lunch on the white 
house lawn means anything much at all. South East Asia is a rapidly 
growing market, full of people with disabilities caused by war and its 
aftermath, and Vietnam, to take an example, got its first Service 
Providers online last December.

Perhaps providing more information on who is a good guy and who is a bad 
guy would be helpful for some companies. In places where central planning 
and regulation play a larger role (European countries would be examples 
here) the problem may not be as severe, although I don't have any idea.

I think software people are by and large aware of the ideas, but most of 
them are market-driven, so until there is market demand for products 
which support accessibilty inherently, rather than as an add-on, those 
products are not likely to have a big impact on the web overall.

One way to do this is the regulatory approach. Another is for people to 
boycott sites which do not provide accessibility. And another way is to 
wait until enough people can't get access, and simply point out to the 
content providers that they are missing out on a substantial slice of the 

Charles McCathieNevile
RMIT University
Melbourne Australia (on theother hand, if they'd fly me to the US for a 
few days it might be pretty nice ;)

> Hi,
> Getting accessibility into HTML 4.0 was an excellent accomplishment.
> I think the next major goal needs to be getting accessibility into
> browsers.  Many of the accessibility issues for web pages result from
> browsers' being inaccessible.  In order for browsers to become
> accessible, the browser companies need to be recruited into participating
> in the browser accessibility process.
> What resources does WAI have?  I think there are three important ones.
> First, there's the association with W3.  The second is support of the White
> House and the administration.  The third is money.  If I remember correctly
> from the WAI launch last year, WAI was going to be given several
> hundreds of thousands of dollars for each of the next couple of years.
> I'm figuring there's probably a fair amount of money available.  From
> what I understand, Judy is the only staff person for WAI.  I haven't
> seen any announcements for grant applications or awarding of grants.
> I don't believe that WAI has been many sponsoring conferences.  So, there's
> probably a fair amount of money available unless W3 or MIT get hefty cuts.
> I wonder if there are some creative ways to use the power of the White House
> and some of the WAI funds to recruit browser companies into the browser
> accessibility process.  A simplistic idea would be to set up an afternoon
> meeting at the White House for CEO's of browser companies and use
> some WAI money to fly them in.  The White House could convey the
> importance of getting accessibility into browsers so that regulations
> aren't needed.
> Scott
Received on Wednesday, 4 March 1998 16:55:35 UTC

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