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RE: About ABBR

From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 10:30:55 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.20000219101956.03ac88a0@mail.webgeek.com>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 06:47 PM 2/18/00 -0800, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At 10:19 AM 2/18/2000 , Ann Navarro wrote:

>>It *cost us* no more to produce the site in that manner than it would have
>>to leave off ALT attributes, not include a doctype, and rely on color alone
>>for meaning, etc (see the checkpoints for priority 1 guidelines). 
>This is a specious argument because all of the work on the HTML
>Writers Guild web site has been done via volunteer labor.  (Most of
>it mine.)  It would *cost* no more to produce the site inaccessibly
>than accessibly because it *cost* us nothing in the first place.

My point here, which the Guild has discussed both internally and in other
fora such as these, is that the "cost" -- be that volunteer labor, paid
staff, or paid consultants, does not have to changed based on whether
someone uses an ALT attribute, ABBR, or any other accessibility checkpoint
in the markup of a site. The expertise put into use on the Guild site has
been developed over the years through our participation in W3C activities,
and the learning of our volunteers and staff. 

No one, least of all myself, is arguing that there isn't a learning curve.
However, the argument that the learning curve is so unique or special that
even professional web designers shouldn't be expected to undertake it, or
have it already as a part of their skill-set is untenable. 

It's ironic that the voices proclaiming 'it would cost too much' are the
voices of larger companies who spend far more on their Web presence than
the average IMI client, or WebGeek client, or the colleges and universities
or governmental agencies who's sites are accessible today. 

Judy's testimony before the House subcommittee last week reminded us that
the ADA doesn't necessarily allow "it would cost too much to fix it" as
defense for not having done it right in the first place. 

Doing it right in the first place, of course, is far less costly than
hiring consultants to retrofit something. Why someone should do it right in
the first place is a discussion that, for this forum, would be preaching to
the choir. 

Received on Saturday, 19 February 2000 10:31:34 UTC

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