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Re: Accessibility

From: Suzan Dolloff <averil@concentric.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 23:24:32 -0600
Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19980324232432.007cad30@pop3.concentric.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Kynn Bartlett said:

>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.

To which I'm adding:

Sounds to me like you and I agree more than we differ, Kynn, and are even
headed in the same direction. Let someone design an icon that's as elegant
and easy to integrate into any design as the HWG icon, and I'm all for
plastering that puppy on the opening page (at least) of every accessible
site on the Web, with a link to the WAI site. (Ahem...let's hope the
quality of accessibility is significantly higher than the quality of design
we see on some sites touting the HWG icon, however. Even so: free
advertising!) I don't know of a more successful marketing technique on the
WWW than the Netscape and MSIE icons, so I'm VERY much in favor of a
universal symbol pointing to the cause of accessibility.

Consider this, if you will. Ever encountered a web site where the
designer's tone seemed rather snooty as the text informed you what browser
you needed, or plugins required for viewing the site? Almost made you mad
sometimes, didn't it, as if some faceless designer somewhere was telling
you you couldn't possibly have software and hardware as good as his if you
didn't already have the same things he'd used to build his site? If you'd
had a really bad hair-day, your emotions might have leapt to the assumption
this designer was questioning your personal character as well. (Okay,
that's an exaggeration, but I'm trying to make a point. <sheepish grin>)
"Feel-good" or "Hey, listen up, this is important!" text about
accessibility can have the same effect. Consider my reaction to what I read
on Ms. Taylor's site, after all, and this from someone who had more reason
than a casual web surfer to understand her motives and intent!

Conclusion? Linked icon: yes. It's simple, succinct and non-judgmental.
"Look what I did!" text: no. Far too many opportunities for
misinterpretation or even misrepresentation in what someone might say, left
to his or her own devices.

Now, let's tackle the issue of all the corporations listed as
members/supporters of the WAI whose own sites aren't accessible... 

Best regards,

Ree' Dolloff
mailto:averil@concentric.net


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Received on Wednesday, 25 March 1998 00:24:01 GMT

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