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Re: Kynn's Definition of Accessibility, and Uncaptioned Webcasts

From: jeffrey pledger <jpledger@mindspring.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 05:44:08 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.6.32.19991110054408.0088f6e0@pop.mindspring.com>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Kynn, 

	I don't agree with your logic here.  Nor do I agree with the complaint you
received on the web cast.  I thought the goal of making the web accessible
is to do it for all people, no matter what their disability.  This should
be done looking at two primary resouces, is it technically feasible and is
it readily achievable, if I can use these phrases here.  

	As more and more things are moving to the web, it is up to all of us to
plan better to ensure that accessibility is being maintained.  Again, I
will post to the list, if you want to view and hear examples of accessible
video content done via the web, e.g. audio describe and closed captioned,
please go to the Able Channel at www.tvontheweb.com and see for yourself.  

Jeff Pledger 
President, Able Channel At 06:21 PM 11/8/99 -0800, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At about 1 hour 50 minutes into the webcast of the InterLab accessibility
>panel, a member of the audience asked an interesting question, "I can
>interpret some of what you have said to mean that we should stop this
>video transmission right now -- we have no signer, we have no text.
>How do you make those judgments?"
>
>It brought up an intriguing quandry -- should we refuse to do something,
>if it cannot be done accessibly?  (In this case, there were no funds
>available to hire real-time transcription or even after-the-fact
>transcriptions.)  Should SLAC have decided not to webcast in that
>case?
>
>Some people would argue "if you can't do it accessibly, you shouldn't
>do it."
>
>I'm not sure I agree with that.  Mainly because of how I define
>accessibility.  The way I see it is that any given web service is
>going to have a potential audience of a given size -- and the
>percentage of potential users who can use that service will range
>from 0% to 100%.  The GOAL of accessible web design is to MAXIMIZE
>THE PERCENTAGE OF POTENTIAL AUDIENCE MEMBERS WHO ARE ABLE TO USE
>THE SERVICE.  (Caps to make it stand out, not because I'm shouting.)
>
>By that reasoning, ANY CHANGE WHICH INCREASES THE PERCENTAGE IS A
>STEP TOWARDS ACCESSIBILITY, and conversely, ANY CHANCE WITH DECREASES
>THE PERCENTAGE IS A STEP AWAY.
>
>Applying this to the case in question, let's say that only 50% of
>the potential audience could use the Real Video file.  The other
>half don't have a compatible viewer, or they can't hear, or they
>can't see, or they don't have a computer (cell phone, PDA, etc),
>or any other reason.
>
>If we turn off the web cast, the number of people who can access
>that service goes from 50% to 0%.  This is not a step towards
>accessibility, my friends -- in fact, it's the opposite.  TURNING OFF
>THE WEBCAST WOULD DECREASE ACCESSIBILITY.
>
>We need to be careful, when we make mandates about accessibility,
>that we are not saying "do it this way OR ELSE" -- because then we
>lead to an overall net effect in which accessibility is decreased.
>Our goal should always, *always* be to promote changes which
>increase accessibility, which means INCREASING the number of potential
>audience members who can use a service, and never to DECREASE that
>number.
>
>Agree or disagree?
>
>
>-- 
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>Next Speaking Stop: New Orleans, 9 Dec 99    http://www.builder.com/live/
>CC/PP Builds the Future of the Web --> learn more at http://www.ccpp.org/
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 10 November 1999 05:41:52 GMT

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