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Re: The first thing that I don't like about the WAI-IG list

From: Charles F. Munat <coder@acnet.net>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 00:56:11 -0600
Message-ID: <004301be36e6$27abc8a0$3c1172a7@acnet.net>
To: +ADw-w3c-wai-ig+AEA-w3.org+AD4

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles F. Munat +ADw-coder+AEA-acnet.net+AD4-
To: Kynn Bartlett +ADw-kynn-hwg+AEA-idyllmtn.com+AD4-
Date: Saturday, January 02, 1999 7:10 PM
Subject: Re: The first thing that I don't like about the
WAI-IG list


At 06:52 p.m. 01/02/99 -0600, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

+AD4-What sort of empirical evidence are you looking for?

This sort:

1. How much time, on the average, has a web designer who's
trying to design accessible sites spent learning how to do
so? Not how long is the class, but what is the reality? Yes,
in the future with enough marketing, etc. perhaps this will
become a non-issue, but right now that doesn't help me much.
I spent a +ACo-lot+ACo- of time trying to find this information and
sorting through the various arguments and I'm +ACo-still+ACo- not
sure I really understand it all.

2. How much time, on the average, does it take to convert a
currently inaccessible site to an accessible one and what
does that translate into in terms of dollars?

3. Is there, in fact, extra effort required to make a site
accessible? Are there comparisons of sites? Studies?
Anything scientific? Or are we just guessing?

Some stuff is just common sense. If I want to add an +ACI-aural,
braille, tty+ACI- stylesheet to my page, doesn't it take some
time to make that stylesheet? Didn't I invest some time
learning how to make that particular stylesheet? And don't I
have to test it? And doesn't that mean I need to come up
with the browser to test it in, install it, learn how to use
it, etc.?

I honestly can't believe that anyone who has actually gone
through this process can say that it doesn't take any extra
effort. Furthermore, if I decide to heck with the aural
stylesheet and save the effort, is my HTML broken? I think
not, but my site may still not be entirely accessible.


+AD4-In my experience, this ISN'T hard to teach.  Start with ALT
text
+AD4-for all images, and you've already eliminated half the
accessibility
+AD4-problems on the net.  Go on from there, and I can teach the
rest in a
+AD4-day (face to face) or a six week course (at a leisurely
pace), and
+AD4-all you'll need after that is the URL of the WAI guidelines
and the
+AD4-quick reference card.

For me, a full day's work is several hundred dollars gross.
Not exactly peanuts. What's more, this assumes that
accessibility is solely about code, whereas I think it goes
well beyond that to the fundamental design of the site
itself. And to make a truly good site, it should be tested.
For an accessible site, the best idea would be to test it
with the applicable browsers and to have testing done by
persons with disabilities. More effort. I still don't see
how this is easy.

+AD4-The only real hurdles are (a) getting people to realize
there's
+AD4-something to learn, (b) opening their eyes to the effects,
and then
+AD4-(c) just slogging through the guidelines.  The first is a
matter
+AD4-of marketing, the second of personalization, and the third
is just
+AD4-transmittal of information.

+ACI-Slogging+ACI-? That's almost an admission that it involves real
work. And until the first two objectives are achieved, there
are likely to be many more designers like me who have to
re-learn everything. That is the reality, in my opinion. And
I still feel that it's insulting to those who have labored
long and hard to learn this stuff to minimize their efforts.
I'm not trying to feel that way, I just do.

Charles Munat
Puerto Vallarta
Received on Sunday, 3 January 1999 02:04:33 GMT

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