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

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 17:59:28 -0500
Message-ID: <01BF2F93.33F5ADA0.bbailey@clark.net>
To: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
It is a reasonable expectation that the lack of accommodations will be 
noted a particular Net event, event though this means setting yourself up 
for criticism.

In the early days (as recently as five to ten years ago), folks in the 
disability community routinely did not bother with large print and braille 
versions of their handouts, nor with interpreters nor hearing aid loops. 
 This was commonplace mostly because it was able-bodied professionals 
talking to each other.  The perception that this was acceptable has, 
thankfully, matured quite a bit.

In the last few years, I would say that these issues are addressed 50% of 
the time or more.  In almost all of the remaining cases a presenter will 
bashfully admit to not having braille (or large print, or an interpreter, 
etc.) with them because they ran out of time and did not put their handouts 
together until last night, blah, blah, blah.  This admission will often 
occur spontaneously -- without the presenter spotting a blind person in the 

So, in the years since ADA, we have raised the level of awareness to the 
point where people in the industry know what they should be doing, even if 
they do not actually do it!

Obviously, if you are a person who gets routinely discriminated against 
because of this, you would not feel that much progress has been made!

Let us hope that accommodations to webcasts proceeds in "Internet time" 
because we still aren't all that good with alternatives to print media and 
the spoken word!

In the meantime, those of use who do know better, must apologize (in 
advance) when we can not.  That's better than nothing.  Maybe it's not good 
enough.  I certainly do not think that it is.  But at least it is 

Just for the record, I researched pricing a live web broad cast of one our 
"annual meetings".  (Boring stuff to be sure, but part of my state agency's 
commitment to the public.)  Hiring a transcriptionist (you don't need a 
court stenography) is not as expensive as an interpreter, and both are much 
cheaper than a broadcast crew (in any format).  One problem is that few web 
casters have in-house facilities for captioning.

Just my two cents.

Bruce Bailey

On Monday, November 15, 1999 3:29 PM, Neff, Robert 
[SMTP:Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov] wrote:
> If something is not possible, then document why you cannot meet this
> objective.  Last week I spoke with Jenifer Simpson, President's Committee 
> Employment of People with Disabilities. If you are not able to meet the
> guidelines, then document why you are not able to or make it available in
> another format, for example, can people call in for the information or 
> it be sent to them? There are other options until you can make it 
> I wholeheartedly agree the tools, training, and budgets are not there, 
> they will come.  You can at least try and if you cant make it - document 
> use that for justification as an interim solution.
Received on Monday, 15 November 1999 18:00:36 UTC

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