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Outreach to Contract Web Authors

From: Chris Hasser <chasser@immerse.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 10:41:36 -0800
Message-ID: <01BD5191.433FBBC0.chasser@immerse.com>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Folks,

1. I began by lamenting the fact that my company's Web site is still 
unaccessible since we don't have the staff to modify it.  I wondered 
whether there might be a contract web authoring organization that might 
specialize in accessibility retrofits (so we can throw money at the problem 
to get it solved.)

2. This lead to the idea of fostering the growth of a few accessibility 
retrofit contract authoring companies.  It would create jobs and allow 
corporations to fix the problem by throwing money at it, rather than 
developing internal expertise.

3. I then realized that companies probably wouldn't want to hire a niche 
author - they want one authoring contractor to get the whole job done.  A 
contractor that has expertise and respect in all aspects of web authoring. 
 Hmm... sounds a lot like Universal Design.

So here's the question - are we making any special efforts to reach out to 
contract web authors?  All of the discussions I've noticed to date all seem 
to treat web authors generically, but it seems like some authors would be 
more valuable targets than others.

Is there a contract web authoring association?  A first step might be to 
target a large franchising organization like USWeb.  WAI could develop 
inservice training materials (video, web page, in-person lectures at 
training sites).  Delivering such training to an organization like USWeb 
would be a clearly defined goal.  It should also be easy to measure 
impacts, since the company knows how many sites it designs, and surveys for 
accessibility could be conducted before and after the fact.  I'd suggest 
that WAI approach USWeb or some similar company at a high level to start 
talks.  At a low level, academics involved in WAI might want to 
"infiltrate" students as summer interns into large contract web authoring 
firms.

Chris Hasser
Received on Tuesday, 17 March 1998 13:43:18 GMT

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