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

From: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2000 19:28:55 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB5824A9E@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> From:	apembert@crosslink.net [SMTP:apembert@crosslink.net]
> It is highly unlikely that many businesses are going to be so foolish
> as to believe they will increase their business by getting rid of
> graphics. Further, it is arguments such as this that are severely
	It's very doubtful that they will believe it,
	although I think they might be surprised.

> impeding the acceptance and implementation of web accessibility. There
	Quite true.  Insisting on commercially unrealistic
	levels of accessibility will be counter productive.
	The current argument is whether priority 1 or 
	priority 2 is intended to represent a commercially
	acceptable level.

> A 10 second download does not necessarily mean light graphics, it
> means a speedy connection. Users who are too impatient to wait for a
> download are better served by faster connection capabilities, not by
	That costs money.  Large amounts of money in some
	parts of the world.  Applying a financial penalty
	tends to discriminate against those outside the USA
	and those unable to get well paid work, often 
	including the physically disabled (note I see 
	accessibility as being not just about disablement).

	It does select for readers more likely to pay for
	products, so there's no commercial incentive to
	support people who can't afford fast links.  Qualifying
	leads is a desirable commercial feature, but not
	necessarily a good one for public policy.

	Incidentally, the link here is 128K.

> taking away the bread and butter from users who depend on the graphics
> to understand the conteent of a page. 
	[DJW:]  I am having difficulty thinking of any site 
	where casual graphics helped me and can think of 
	many sites where I had to play "hunt the hyperlink".

> Continuing to argue against graphics, multi-media, and other
> advantages of the web over print, is to argue against the likely
> acceptance of accessibility. It's time to be realistic.
I'd agree that commercial organisations will see anything
that forces them to abandon graphics in order to get
an accessihilitity rating as being a significant 
imposition on them.  Once one accepts this, and if one
also accepts that accessibility of commercial web sites
is a valid public policy aim, one either
has to find ways of improving accessibility at no cost
to the authors and without affecting their use of 
multimedia, or one forces them.  I don't see any realistic
proposals for the former and I see an increasing amount
of the latter.  (Tools that allow motivated authors to 
improve accessibility don't count, as the motivation isn't

I think that WCAG priority 1 goes further than most commecial
organisations would want to go, but is not commecially
too unrealistic.  I think that priority 2 requires some real

There are many other areas where market forces and public
policy conflict.
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Received on Thursday, 5 October 2000 14:29:00 UTC

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