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Re: Web Accessibility Myths and The Kynn Challenge (was:

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 09:04:55 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199910161604.JAA14269@ayla.idyllmtn.com>
To: jonathan@signbrowser.free-online.co.uk (jonathan chetwynd)
Cc: phoenixl@netcom.com, kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Jonathan wrote:
> The myth that accessibility is free or cheap is bugging me.

The myth that accessibility is expensive and difficult -- and thus an
"undue hardship" (do you understand the significance of that term?) --
bugs _me_.

> OK clean HTML is possible with a clear plan and a little knowledge.
> That does not make it accessible.

It makes it _more_ accessible, which is the goal.

> Of course poor HTML with lots of proprietary extras can be completely
> inaccessible.
> Even creating a single page that works on most browsers in a reasonable way,
> is more or less a dream, and in my experience quite a lot of work even to
> attempt.

How much experience do you have with web page creation?

> Creating accessible sites that work for people with (a range of) cognitive
> impairments is very difficult.

Creating sites that work for people with a range of cognitive
ability (note: not just impairments) is very difficult.  This is a case
of general usability and effective design, not of "accessibility"
except as certain people continue to use the term "accessibility" in
an imprecise way.

In other words, there are pages that I, as someone with absolutely
no physical disabilities and with high cognitivie abilities, am 
unable to fathom due to poor design, navigation and usability choices
by the web creators.

> Once again Accessible is being used to mean many things and this is causing
> confusion.

Yes.

> We are awaiting the list of approved WAI sites.

The WAI doesn't approve websites; it's not the function of the Web
Accessibility Initiative to grant approval to various websites.  The
WAI has created guidelines, and those guidelines, applied in varying
ways, can form the basis of an organization's policy for improving
the access to their site by people with disabilities.

But let us never mistake that for the WAI granting "approval" to
any given website.

> Bobby approved ones are just no good for accessibility outside of its HTML
> coding context.

It's true that Bobby-approved sites are not inherently guaranteed
to be usable; however, the claim was made that making a site more
accessible would lead to a decrease in (visual) attractiveness and
a lack of functionality.  That's simply not true.

--Kynn Bartlett, earthquake survivor
Received on Saturday, 16 October 1999 12:13:00 GMT

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