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Re: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 18:37:39 -0700
Message-Id: <4.1.19990610183116.023717f0@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 04:19 PM 6/10/1999 , Anne Pemberton wrote:
>As Kelly said in his last post, it isn't necessary
>to make a web page with a flight simulator accessible to the blind because
>they are unlikely to ever be able to fly a plane anyway. Putting alt tags
>on such a page would be a waste of a very small amount of time because they
>would probably never be used anway. 

I don't know, I could see several reasons why a flight simulator
web page would want to follow the principles of accessible
web design:

* (non-blind users) There are many extra benefits, such as search
  engine placement and PDA accessibility, for creating an
  accessible web site, even if the content doesn't immediately
  appear to be something that would interest people with
  disabilities.

* (non-blind users) Many users of visual web browsers do indeed
  surf with images off by default, myself included.

* (blind users) A blind parent might want to check up on the
  web site her child is using, or may be directed to the site to
  read up on what someone emailed them regarding their favorite
  hobby.  A blind person may not be able to use the flight
  simulator, but that may not exclude her from wanting to read
  about what it does.  For example, she may want to buy a gift
  for her nephew.

* (blind users) If the flight simulator is adequately accessible
  and designed with some measure of thought, it may actually
  be somewhat playable by the blind user.  And it may be the 
  closest she can come to flying a plane!  Even if it crashes,
  no damage is done, and with stereo sound, good audible icons
  for alerts, and a force-feedback joystick, it could be lots
  of fun!

So I disagree fundamentally with your supposition that you can
easily separate the world into "disabled users will use this"
and "disabled users will NOT use this" categories.  ALL sites
need to be accessible!  (Which is, in part, why I disagree with
the confusion of "accessible" with "understandable" -- all sites
should be accessible but there should be no requirement of
understandability.)

--
Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Thursday, 10 June 1999 21:38:37 GMT

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