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Re: Outreach to Contract Web Authors

From: Kathleen Fagan-Raeihle <raeihle@nycap.rr.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:03:19 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980317170319.007a3760@nycap.rr.com>
To: Chris Hasser <chasser@immerse.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Chris,

First let me tell you that your company is unusual in that you are willing
to look for help for your site because is not accessible.

 My experience has been that even when a company wants to make their site
accessible they DON'T want another company to do the retrofit, even when it
is their specialty, they want the company that has the contract to maintain
their site to do it. For free, of course.


I would be interested in talking to other accessibility "retrofiters" like
myself to see how they are doing with the current market, and if there's an
association I would be interested in joining. Ditto for a listserv.

Kathy




At 10:41 AM 03/17/98 -0800, you wrote:
>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
>
>
>
Kathleen Fagan-Raeihle
Accessible Website Design
aka webmaster@ilusa.com
http://www.ilusa.com/accessweb.htm
Received on Tuesday, 17 March 1998 17:05:03 GMT

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