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Is this site accessible?

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 14:56:13 -0500
To: <webdirector@commarts.com>
Cc: "Web Accessibility Initiative" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <klucas@resource.com>, <webmaster@victoriassecret.com>
Message-ID: <000d01bf77ee$b6bc9fc0$1aac66a7@151877>
Dear Editor,

Your review (and selection of site of the week) of the Victoria's Secret
site caused quite a stir on the "Web Accessible Initiative" interest group
mailing list.  You can find our original message posted at URL:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2000JanMar/0447.html
The discussion was over your article posted at URL:
http://www.commarts.com/interactive/sow_main.html

The problem is that your author wrote that the VS site was "accessible".
What does she mean by that term?  In the vernacular, "accessible" has become
something of a buzz word that is free of semantic content.  In the
disability rights community, we take accessible to mean "functional for
people who rely upon assistive technology".  The VS site clearly does NOT
fall into this category.  Specifically, an "accessible" web site is one that
satisfies the Priority 1 checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines.

The full (detailed) guidelines can be found at URL:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/
The quick-and-easy "top ten" version is at URL:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips/#QuickTips

Please avoid the term "accessible" unless you mean it in this context.

I would encourage you to report on accessibility (for persons with
disabilities) and formal validity as part of your routine site review
process.

Please let me know if you would like further elaboration on these points.

Sincerely,
Bruce Bailey
Webmaster for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of
Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
http://www.dors.state.md.us/
410/554-9211
Received on Tuesday, 15 February 2000 14:58:42 GMT

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