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RE: [Fwd: File: "JH-SPCH TXT"]

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 14:42:22 -0800
Message-ID: <E3A3FFB80F5CD1119CED00805FBECA2F04D145E1@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: love26@gorge.net, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
<<
The attached speech was given by Judy Heumann at the Microsoft campus in
connection with the "Accessibility Summit" sponsored by MS recently. 
>>

A few corrections with the message below.  Microsoft recently hosted an
"Accessibility Day" and "Advocate Day" at our Redmond campus.  The
"Accessibility Summit" was something we did in mid-1995 and had a entirely
different focus.

"Accessibility Day", with Bill Gates, Judy Heumann and Gregg Vanderhieden
speaking was for Microsoft employees and we had a terrific turnout and great
response.

"Advocate Day" was designed to gather feedback from various disability
groups and get lengthy time for product groups to present product plans and
get critical feedback directly from users and their representatives.  We
also held separate meetings with accessibility software vendors to
communicate directly with various product groups.

<<
At WWW6 I asked Chuck if the disability manager had to approve of
software before it was released he said that that not only was not
happening but likely would not.  This is changing at MicroSoft and will
be a prevalent procedure.
>>

No one person at Microsoft signs off on software.  This will (hopefully)
never be the case.  We have implemented a series of initiatives to help make
sure Microsoft  follows best practices with regard to accessibility.

One of them is a accessible design checklist that each product group will be
held to by regular reviews conducted by Bill Gates and Paul Martiz.

For more information, read the headlines at http://microsoft.com/enable/.

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!" 

-----Original Message-----
From: love26@gorge.net [mailto:love26@gorge.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 1998 3:35 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: [Fwd: File: "JH-SPCH TXT"]


The usual context of the word "initiative" is typified by the phrase
"take the initiative" meaning to lead the way and I feel that we must be
more assertive in our efforts if we are to be taken seriously by both
our clients, which I take to be people who are currently "enjoying" less
than ideal access to the World Wide Web, and our audience which is those
connected either through personal authorship of or the provision of
tools for the purpose of placing content on the Web.

The attached speech was given by Judy Heumann at the Microsoft campus in
connection with the "Accessibility Summit" sponsored by MS recently. 
The tone of it is what I have been trying to urge on our output: not
exactly a threat but a firm resolve to change how these things are done.
The famous "bottom line" invoked to excuse non-compliance with clear
regulations requiring accessible software must be shown to include the
certainty that people who deliberately avoid providing accessibility
will one day be sitting in the same chairs that the "leaders" of the
tobacco industry used when facing a congressional committee.

The various WAI working groups should always be operating from strength
that is not *just* morally and ethically sound, but also advising
vendors, many of whom are members of the Consortium, that the actions we
are recommending are actually requirements and what we are "negotiating"
is the "how" not the "if" of accessible software for accessing the Web.

At WWW6 I asked Chuck if the disability manager had to approve of
software before it was released he said that that not only was not
happening but likely would not.  This is changing at MicroSoft and will
be a prevalent procedure.

Therefore we must concentrate on: what comprises accessibility; how to
provide it; how to tell if it has been provided.  We are better off not
to enter into any discussion of why to provide it in any sense other
than what Ms. Heumann brings out in the attachment.  Her tone is not
that of a beggar seeking a handout but of a representative of an entire
nation explaining in remarkable detail, right down to keystrokes, what's
been wrong and suggestions on how to fix it.  I don't believe we should
show any less initiative than she does.
-- 
Love.
            ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE
http://dicomp.pair.com
Received on Tuesday, 31 March 1998 17:43:47 GMT

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