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

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 14:34:35 -0800
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F03804183@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
There is a whole education arm of the WAI for this.  Additionally, if the
WAI has to hire a evangelist, then the vendor isn't feeling the market
pressure for accessibility and that's a entirely different problem.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Luebking [mailto:phoenixl@netcom.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 1998 2:26 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Recruiting software companies ( was One of those pesky
questi ons

Charles, you have a good point.  Please forgive my US-centrism of browser

Another idea might be to find a luminary from the software industry who
WAI could hire in some evangelist capacity.  This evangelist would
have the respect needed to open doors and handle the software lingo.
An ideal candidate would be one who has some personal stake in access
issues, e.g. a close relative with a disability.


>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
>> House and the administration.  The third is money.  If I remember
>> 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,
>> probably a fair amount of money available unless W3 or MIT get hefty
>> I wonder if there are some creative ways to use the power of the White
>> 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 17:34:46 UTC

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