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Re: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 11:38:15 -0700
Message-Id: <4.1.19990611113300.028b50e0@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Cc: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 08:56 AM 6/11/1999 , Ann Navarro wrote:
>If accessibility is about understanding, the WAI guidelines need some
>serious additional work, because they provide access to content, not a
>guarantee (nor even the mechanism) that anyone can understand that content. 

Charles, are you going to propose that the goal of the web
content guidelines should be "creation of web content that 
WILL BE UNDERSTOOD by all users"?

In other words, now we're not merely concerned with the way
in which the content is conveyed, we want to mandate the level
at which someone is allowed to write on the web, as well as
the specifics of the content?

This is an absurd proposition, and I object strongly.

I'm all for investigating ways that websites can be made more
usable by their intended audiences, but to package all this
together with "accessibility" is very dangerous and could
scuttle our efforts entirely.

It's hard enough that people think we're "mandating they dumb
down their multimedia for old browsers" (which we're not); if
we insist that people _do_ "dumb down" their _content_, their
_words_ for a mentally disabled audience, then I guarantee
you that we will have an even harder time "selling" this to
web authors.

Web accessibility should be about full _access_ to information
and not about full _understanding_ of that information.  Period.

Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Friday, 11 June 1999 14:41:56 UTC

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