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Re: A few questions

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 07:51:13 -0500
Message-ID: <001b01c09296$fbf28aa0$2cf60141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: "Jon Hanna" <jon@spinsol.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
All good questions and I hope to see positive discussion arrise here
on the group.

I'll take a whack at your first question where you write:
1. I normally talk about usability and accessibility in the same
breath. Can anyone think of times when one damages the other, i.e.
when improving usability for one group comes at the expense of
damaging it for another, esp. if to the point of making a site
completely inaccessible to that group.

dp The short answer is no but you have to define accessible.  In the
way I view accessible, it is part of usability.  If attention is given
to propper mark up and well written content as well as a well defined
structure that is easy on the eyes and to read and navigate, your site
goes a long way toward being usable and accessable.  In some circles,
accessible means unlocked.  Would that it were that simple.  In other
words, some would argue that the whole of the unrestricted internet is
accessable provided one has the propper set of tools to "access" it.
Our meaning for accessability though is that the content and structure
are presented in such a way as not to be hidden from those who
approach them from a standpoint of having certain functional
limitations.  In this context, it could be argued that paying the rong
kind of attention to mittigating functional limitations could ruin the
useability or accessability of a site for others but it doesn't have
to.  A site can be accessable but low on the usability scale in terms
of organization and navagability.  While it can be used, it is clunky
and slow.  For someone using special tools, this problem can become
magnified.

There are two basic types of barriers to accessability.  One is
technology that provides no means to mittigate the functional
limitations, or how that technology is used.  The other is miss use of
technology that allows for mittigation of functional limitations.
Html and perl for instance can be used to produce sites which
mittigate functional limitations and there are a whole host of
technologies that allow for this as well.  Pdf, shockwave, animation
tools and other technologies either have no properties that allow for
mittigation of functional limitations or are used by authors in a way
that precludes technologies designed for mittigation of functional
limitations from functioning.

I hope this has given you a start.
Received on Friday, 9 February 2001 08:05:58 GMT

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