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Accessibility, discrimination, and WCAG 2.0

From: Paul Davis <paul@ten-20.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 16:38:36 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
May I interject here please?

I have a problem with this subject because frankly I can see everyone's 
point of view as being a reasonable argument!!!

However to add to the philosophical side of things a correction needs to be 
made to a claim earlier in this conversation trail, the average speed in 
London is not the same as it was 100 years ago. It is two and a half miles 
an hour slower. The individual vehicles may be capable of independently 
faster speeds, but collectively they move at a slower pace. So will it be 
on the web if care is not taken now.

We all as individuals are totally unpredictable. But as a collective, the 
human race is totally predictable.

As connection speeds increase and download times improve and technology 
moves on, we will be tempted to place heavier documents or images on our 
sites. This is already happening. 4 to 5 years ago it was considered 
correct to design to a 14k modem. Now we design to a 28k to 33k modem soon 
it will be a 56k. Download times however have not improved as dramatically 
as a whole. This will deteriorate with time, and technology will compensate 
only slightly.

As a believer in the rights of every individual regardless, when it comes 
to personal pages they must remain exactly that. Are we that hypocritical 
as to push for the rights of every human being only to deny the rights of 
the non disabled individual to do what he/she wants ' in their own space' ? 
I think not. We cannot assume the high moral ground and champion 
accessibility as a whole by trampling on the rights of other individuals to 
get our aims. This is blinkered vision, and will collectively be rejected.

As to who is responsible for accessibility it has to be the designer. If we 
have a house built that later falls down who takes the blame? If we buy 
equipment that is faulty who has to replace it?

I am currently writing an article called "Friendly Fire" it poses the 
question "who is the greatest sinner?" the designer who builds a 
inaccessible site through ignorance, or the disabled designer who builds an 
inaccessible site to promote the rights of accessibility for the disabled 
community. This is taking time as I plan to name and shame, so I must be 

Try going here www.youreable.com  unless you are blind of course, in which 
case don't bother. These are only holding pages at the moment, but you get 
a taste of what is to come. For those not in the UK, this is a disabled 
person who entered a competition on national television and played the "I 
am disabled ticket" brilliantly, he went for empathy and lots of it. I 
squirmed in my chair watching him, as he sucker punched the panel of 
investors, for about 5 minutes, I then changed channels in disgust. He won 
1 million to build his site. I awaited the resultant site with interest.

It is true to say, that ' his ' new idea of making the internet accessible 
for disabled people, frankly left me feeling as sick as a pig, and I am 
attempting to remove the sour grapes attitude as I write, oh what the hell, 
I can't. And if the investors follow this list, now is a good time to panic.

Charley Brown zig zag smile
Paul Davis
www.ten-20.com The UK portal site for disabled people and associated 
Received on Sunday, 22 October 2000 11:37:18 UTC

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