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RE: The second thing I don't like about the WAI-IG list (Forward From empower@smart.net)

From: Mike Paciello <paciello@ma.ultranet.com>
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 23:54:53 -0500
Message-Id: <199901040453.XAA24723@antiochus-fe0.ultra.net>
To: <po@trace.wisc.edu>, <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>, "'IG - WAI Interest Group List'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Good comments Gregg. 

I've watched this conversation go on for the past couple of days; it's
quite interesting. Interesting to me because I'm in the middle of writing a
book on web accessibility. The first couple of chapters are devoted to the
theme, "Why You Should Make Your Web Site Accessible". Almost everything
that's been stated thus far I've accounted for, including the usabilty
factor which I believe to be my primary motivation. But there's also
another reason which I also believe to be important, particularly from a
historical standpoint. That is that technology created or enhanced to
benefit people with disabilities has often led to emerging and/or advanced
technology that then goes on to benefit mankind in general. I am convinced
that pushing technology to new heights hinges on this development cycle. 

- Mike

At 10:30 PM 1/3/99 -0600, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
>Good comments.
>Couple of things to remember or think about
>1) it is not only unethical, it is illegal if you have a commercial site.
>(see ADA ruling)
>2) I think you misunderstand some of the comments about "the broader
>benefits of accessible sites".  Although some people may oversell it, most
>people are just pointing out that the same things that make a site more
>accessible, also make it more usable by some people who do not have
>disabilities as well as some technologies (which actually do have
>disabilities in a way).    These include people using mobile technologies,
>small screens (as on PDAs etc) and voice technologies (phones).  It also
>makes them more accessible to indexing engines and the emerging intelligent
>agent software (both of which can neither see nor hear today - and therefore
>can only access the text content of a site).
>The point is that these are accompanying benefits.  Sometimes small and
>sometime large enough that they will (for business reasons) drive a company
>to do things they may not be driven to by their conscience.   (indexing for
>example).  Even where they are not big enough to cause implementation for
>business reasons,  it is always nice to have additional motivations to go
>along with the ethical ones.  Don't you agree?
>PS  I think that phone access to web sites (by people who are not used to
>audio access) will actually  require that the sites be designed specifically
>for that type of access.   Site will need to develop visual and audio/phone
>access interfaces that are quite different.  It will be interesting to see
>how this develops.
>Happy new year everyone.
>-- ------------------------------
>Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
>Professor - Human Factors
>Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
>Director - Trace R & D Center
>Gv@trace.wisc.edu, http://trace.wisc.edu/
>FAX 608/262-8848
>For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@trace.wisc.edu
Mike Paciello 
Received on Sunday, 3 January 1999 23:53:54 UTC

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