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Re: Accessibility

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 20:42:29 -0800
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19980324204229.00973e10@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: Suzan Dolloff <averil@concentric.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 08:43 a.m. 03/23/98 -0600, Suzan Dolloff wrote:
>First, let's take this whole "accessible web page" proposition. Just as
>current web pages don't proclaim themselves to be accessible to the
>physically abled, it's not necessary to trumpet their accessibility to
>disabled people.

Ree', I'm not sure I agree with you.  (Granted, I'm a "physically
abled" person.)

I think there's value in noting a desire to make a page accessible,
beyond simply proclaiming them for the sake of disabled people
who might read them.

One of the biggest benefits is _awareness_.  This is the same
reason you'd put a 'Valid HTML' button your page -- not because
you're patting yourself on the back, but because you want to
represent something you think is important.

The web has a long history of such graphics being used for such
a purpose, from the 'Valid HTML' mentioned before, to the blue
ribbons for free speech.

If someone comes across the page in question, they may find that
Joyce thinks it's important to design an accessible page, and
identifies with the movement to make the web accessible to
everyone.  They may be inspired to follow a link and read more
about what it really means, and their eyes may be opened to
the fact that the web is more than just flashy images on a
screen.

I see value in that.  In fact, consider Joyce's own statement
in her original post:

>> I have been reading the e-mails for a while now, ever since
>> I came across the WC3's web site and learnt about the importance
>> of web accessibility.

Y'see, by increasing awareness of the issue, we can illustrate
the importance of universal accessibility as a design consideration.
You never know who might read your page, decide that what you did
is cool, and try to emulate.  (This happens all the time, for a
variety of different types of elements you'd find on a web page.)

For this reason, I think it's good to announce that you feel
designing for accessibility is important.

>Use of the Bobby-approved icon with a link to CAST's site can enlighten
>people who are curious by its presence.

I agree with you on this (obviously), but I think you understate the
value in stating that you're striving to create an accessible site.

>I notice you include the HTML Writers Guild
>http://www.hwg.org/
>icon on your site and mention being a member. I highly recommend
>participation in the HWG email lists, particulary hwg-basics and
>hwg-critique, as those two lists are where web designers learn common-sense
>techniques which lend themselves to validation and accessibility. 

Thanks for the kind words about the Guild. :)

--
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
Governing Board Member, HTML Writers Guild
http://www.hwg.org/
Received on Tuesday, 24 March 1998 23:41:12 GMT

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