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RE: The Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *

From: David Norris <kg9ae@geocities.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 22:54:27 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000201bdec26$0503f620$31d628cf@kg9ae>
As for the complaints about the terms being used; perhaps they are simply
misunderstanding what you mean.  I would be sure you are using the proper
terms to describe what you mean.  (e.g. People whom are blind are visually
impaired, but, people whom are visually impaired are not necessarily blind.)
Several folks have pointed out some proper technical definitions.  If you
are satisfied that you have a clue what you are saying, then I would not let
the complaints adversely affect your work.  They may be helpful to keep in
mind, though.  Perhaps they are keyed into some overtone, that your
discussion is portraying, which you have not intended.

I don't want to blow anyone's gasket, but, this needs to be mentioned I
think.  While we are on the subject.  A significant portion of the public
has this mental block that makes them think people are stupid because of
some sort of physical or mental problem.  Well, imagine what happens when
someone with this attitude is suddenly visually impaired or develops some
sort of cognitive disorder.  You can probably see the potential for denial.
With denial usually comes some sort of hostility toward anything that
reminds them, even if it is a good thing in general.

With all my rambling being done.  Why do most web authoring guidelines
insist on having two sets of instructions?  One set for people whom are not
disabled, and, one set for the real world?  I understand, all too well, that
all Mosaic-based browsers hideously support the standards.  But, why not
just put down our foot and pick one way of doing things.  You don't have to
sacrifice the world to make an accessible web.  You don't even have to learn
two ways of doing things.  Learn them correctly once, and, design
accordingly.  There wouldn't be much issue if we simply treated accessible
web design and web design as one topic.  By separating them into two
categories, you have to relearn vital parts of web design to make an
accessible web.  Learning multiple, conflicting ways of creating a web is
what costs time and money, not making the web accessible.

,David Norris

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Received on Tuesday, 29 September 1998 23:56:57 UTC

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