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Re: Scott's Chemistry Application

From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 10:57:49 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19991027104843.0277e8f0@mail.webgeek.com>
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>, kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com, phoenixl@netcom.com
Cc: W3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 09:01 PM 10/26/99 -0700, Scott Luebking wrote:

>If someone does not want to learn IE 4/5 and JAWS, is that sufficient
>to say the pages are not accessible?

Context is important. In an intranet environment, the employee doesn't
necessarily have the choice. I can say "I don't want to learn how to use
QuickBooks", but if my job requires that I deal with company financial
records, and they use QuickBooks, then I'm going to have to learn how to
use it, or find another job. 

Making reasonable accomodations for accessibility DOES NOT mean that the
employee can dictate to the employer exactly how the accomodation will be
made, including specific software programs, desks, chairs, or anything else. 

For example: a staff member has complained of exascerbated arm and shoulder
pain based on the desk and chair provided (and the available positioning of
the keyboard and mouse, etc). 

The employer needs to reasonably accomodate a more ergonomic workstation
for this person, but it doesn't mean they can be ordered to buy an Aeron
chair, and the $2500 desk they saw down at Snooty Home Office Supplies,
that has the sliding keyboard tray they like. They employer is well within
reasonable accomodation to provide the item of their choice (business
decision: cost, supplier) provided it solves the problem. 

Taking that back into the realm of blind users and software - if the
employer in a single-browser intranet situation provides a solution that
does solve the problem (e.g. provides screen reader software), the employee
can't reasonably say "I don't want to learn this", or "I want X instead". 

The discussion of whether the single-browser support is short-sighted or
not is orthogonal to the issue of reasonable accomodation for accessibility. 

Very valid business reasons drive people to these types of solutions,
rather than total cross-browser/cross-platform interoperability. 

The later is nice, and certainly a good goal, but the former is not in


Author of:  Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials
10/99 - Mastering XML, 12/99 - HTML By Example, 2nd. Ed.

Founder, WebGeek Communications            http://www.webgeek.com
Vice President-Finance, HTML Writers Guild http://www.hwg.org
Director, HWG Online Education             http://www.hwg.org/services/classes
Received on Wednesday, 27 October 1999 11:07:16 UTC

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