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Re: Politics: Strict Guidelines Considered Harmful

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 16:43:33 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Marti" <marti@agassa.com>, "'Kynn Bartlett'" <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

	Sometimes the quibbles over the guidelines seem to me like insisting that
all stairs be removed while someone decides how to build ramps! While
common authoring programs do not accomplish the accessibility needs, needs
cannot be met on most of the web. 

	Every guideline needs to be grounded in here and now, what does it take to
accomplish it, and exactly who (how many) does it actually benefit, and who
is dis-served by it. 

	As Kynn also pointed out picking a group, and pointing a finger to those
who can be beat up on for all the ills of the web serves no one.  I am a
"vision impaired person" who makes use of "text only versions" for
occasional print uses ... I am flummoxed by sites that include an "all text
version", a "regular version that is all text", and no graphical versions.
I don't have fancy access at home - I have plain old modem access, rural,
so we rarely get more than 30 on downloads even tho our modem will do
faster .... yet both hubby and I use the graphics on the web as much or
more than text ... I know of only one sighted friend who ever used text
versions instead of graphics, and even he changed up when he got a T1 at
home! Most folk I know got into the web because of graphics, not to avoid

	I suspect that most of the folks you're trying to convince to see it your
way, have experiences similar to mine. It's tough to argue with what's


At 06:57 AM 12/17/00 -0500, Marti wrote:
>Forgive the cliché but - aren't we 'throwing out the baby with the bath
>water'?  As long as a tag like <font> does not impede accessibility I see no
>reason to go to war over it.  When I talk to others about these issues I
>find it useful to relate things to the physical world, and it seems to me
>that some of this is like insisting all the stairs be removed when ramps are
>installed.  Sure, that would guarantee the same access for all, but it would
>punish those who walk by making them take a longer route.
>As for EGO of designers, in my somewhat limited experience, the finger is
>being pointed at the wrong people.  The content providers are often from a
>'paper' publishing background and with that mindset they want the slick
>company brochures or whatever, to look a certain way.  Often, all the
>explanation in the world won't budge them from even the most obvious things
>like using non web-safe colors.  As long as a web page is pixel perfect on
>the system they use, it is quite beyond them to grasp that others might see
>it in a different way.  Just try to convince a client that has a T1 at work
>and a cable modem at home that all those graphics are a bad idea!  The 80/20
>rule is interesting, but the only presentation that counts is the one to guy
>who is paying the bill.
>I have many fully sighted friends who will routinely use the 'text only'
>version of a site when one is available, because they are interested in
>content, not 'flash'.  Just try and convince a publisher of that!
Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Sunday, 17 December 2000 17:27:01 UTC

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