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I can't believe he said that!

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 16:33:28 -0800
Message-ID: <35218B58.E146AB3D@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
As Chuck has suggested I have gone into the "remarks of Bill Gates" at
Accessibility Day '98 held in February at Redmond, WA.  These are
excerpts from the delivered remarks to be found at: 


Although these are taken from a larger body of words, I don't feel they
are out of context and if my comments are impolite and impolitic, that's
one of the privileges of old age.

Bill Gates: "I think there's no doubt that legislation and
regulations are <em>going to be</em> looking at these areas. We want to
make sure we get out there with solutions way, way <em>before that

The added emphasis is to provide a further "I can't believe he said
that" marker to the remarks.  The dates on the "legislation and
regulations" are from many years ago.  To get out there "before that
happens" is an absurdist position from la-la land.

Then in response to a question from Charlie Parker (Bird Lives! <g>)
about what MS could do about other companies (presumably those sporting
a Microsoft 'seal of approval'):

BG:: "And we can say to them, look you're crazy not to just do this
stuff first, before, in a very visible way, you're shamed into doing

In becoming a leader in the "rush to access" he seems to be
acknowledging: a) MS *was* "crazy not to just do this stuff"; b) that MS
was "shamed into doing it" by the "visible" efforts of the disability
rights movement - not to mention legal and regulatory considerations.

Finally his advice on how to get the accessibility message across to
those who are primarily responsibility for the inaccessibility in the
first place:

BG:: "And so rather than just taking a broad approach of sending this
accessibility nudge into all our developers, which we're already doing,
if you could tell us 5 or 10 that we need to be fairly pointed in that
dialogue, and share our experience, we would be glad to do that,
starting out with the low key approach, and then if necessary, you
understand how, the message can be given more and more volume and

The "low key approach" apparently didn't work too well so it is now
"necessary" to get into "more volume and impact" and we do indeed
"understand how" and as to telling them "5 or 10 that we need to be
fairly pointed..." perhaps *ONE* will do and that's MicroSoft
Corporation.  So to be fairly pointed and give more volume and impact:

1. We are all in this together.
2. We are all members of one another.

Received on Tuesday, 31 March 1998 19:36:30 UTC

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