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discouraging news from ToolBook and MIT

From: Rafael Romero <Rafael.Romero@uv.es>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 20:15:27 +0200
Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19990726201527.006a833c@post.uv.es>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hello, I was attending a conference about Online Learning in Cheltenham last 21-22 july at the UK.

After Prof John Williams <http://ken.mit.edu/jrweb/> from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) explained the strategical importance of online learning courses for the future of the institute and the new applications they were developing I went to him privately to ask if they were considering accesibility issues in the new developments. He kindly explained to me that

1. W3 pages themselves do not comply with WAI accessibility standards
2. Accesibility for disabled was not a priority for them in these moments.

Afterwards he accepted a WAI Quick Tips card that I handed to him.

Later on in the public presentation of Toolbook latest version (v. 7) there was a very similar situation. TB 7 is used to develop multimedia educational software, that now is also directly exported to html and java formats. I asked publicly to Mr Claude Ostyn, the general director of Asymetrix, if they were considering accesibility issues in the html code generated by their application.

He also kindly explained to me and the rest of the public that

1. W3 pages themselves do not comply with WAI accessibility standards
2. Accesibility for disabled was not a priority in these moments and they were not going to delay the launch of TB 7 for these issues.

I was a bit surprised because Mr Ostyn had previously mentioned the potential of web for reaching many types of users, including those with disabilities and he is himself a member of one W3 group working in standardisation of Online Learning Materials (or something similar).

The question of W3 pages not complying themselves to accesibility standards seems to be a recurrent excuse for some people for not promoting/enforcing the guidelines in their own institutional webs and applications. 

Pity. Isn't it?

Best regards, Rafael Romero.


PS: URL of conference was http://online.chelt.ac.uk/ole99/ but that is not relevant to the message and currently it is not working. Hopefully it will soon be available again in case anyone is interested in the whole list of speakers.
Received on Monday, 26 July 1999 14:16:59 UTC

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