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RE: How to convince businesses to be accessible...

From: Ben Morris <bmorris@activematter.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2000 07:52:30 -0400
To: "Kristi R Schueler/NONFS/USDAFS" <kschueler@fs.fed.us>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBJJFGELAFJNCPAOABOEHKCAAA.bmorris@activematter.com>
I don't think that there is a convincing argument (speaking from the mind of
many business people, not personally) to alter a site to benefit the
disabled audience past priority 1, and get rid of graphics.

But if you broaden the argument to increased usability for all users, you
may get more people to listen.  It has been documented in Jakob Nielsen's
book that users don't want to wait past 10 seconds for a page to load, and
can abandon a site if this doesn't happen.  I don't recall off hand if there
are hard statistics attatched to this, but at least there is a source.  A
sub 10 second download means light graphics, and using HTML where you can.

Also point to industry leaders and successful web sites.  Sites like
Amazon.com, Buy.com, and Hotmail.com rely on a great deal of html to convey
graphical information and navigation.  People may like a pretty site, but
the concept of losing money because of it (more true for e-commerce oriented
sites) influences them even more.  They could lose money not only through
the alienation of disabled users, but by other users bailing out waiting for
pages to download.

Another note: a good source would be a PC World article called (I think)
'Locking out the Disabled.'  I believe it ran in September, and it has some
good quotable lines such as "1 in 5 users are disabled."

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Kristi R Schueler/NONFS/USDAFS
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 6:00 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: How to convince businesses to be accessible...

As a designer, I know that the majority of people out there are not going
to want to sacrifice the flashy, graphics and such to be accessible.  This
includes giving up the text as graphics.  How do we convince them that they
will have a greater audience if they meet accessibility guidelines?  I am
not having much luck finding statistics.  Have there been any economic
impact studies on the numbers of e-commerce dollars not being spent because
online shopping centers are not accessible to people who find the net to be
a freedom and an increase in independence?  So far the only supporting
statistic I have found is a statement from a Harris Poll that says that
disabled internet users are on the internet twice as much as non-disabled
internet users.  It will take more than that to convince businesses to be
compliant with accessibility guidelines!

Kristi Schueler
USFS - WOD,  FC AQM Systems
Web Developer (contractor)
(970)295-5801 (voice)
(970)295-5809 (fax)
Received on Thursday, 5 October 2000 07:52:19 UTC

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