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RE: About ABBR

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 11:19:42 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 07:30 AM 2/19/2000 , Ann Navarro wrote:
>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.

I don't agree with this.  I don't think it's fair to say that there
is _no_ cost.  I think it's absurd and dishonest to say otherwise:
there _is_ a cost associated with accessibility.

HOWEVER, it's also fair to say that cost will almost always be
MINIMAL in relation to the benefits, and it's almost always a GOOD
business decision to gain those many benefits for the minimal cost.

_That_ has to be our message -- "accessible design is worth the 
cost" not "accessible design does not cost."

>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.

Which voices of larger companies are proclaiming it costs too 
much?  I don't see it, actually.  If you're claiming that's what
our esteemed colleagues from IBM and Microsoft have said, then you
are grossly misstating their positions.  They have argued, "some
things are not worth the cost because they do not actually increase
accessibility" and that is a VERY fair argument to make.  You can
argue about where to draw the line, but arguing that the line
should never be drawn ignores the realities of doing business.

Why haven't I used ABBR consistently on the HWG's homepage or
the rest of the Guild's site?  Because it takes work.  Why aren't
I working on that today, now that I know there's a problem?  
Because I have a finite amount of time to spend on HWG activities,
and today I have to create and send a newsletter.  And -that-
takes priority, due to an internal weighting of priorities and
a finite pool of time/money.

Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Saturday, 19 February 2000 14:26:50 UTC

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