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Re: accessibility makeovers

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 10:04:27 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200103290904.f2T94R003472@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> We contacted Barnes and Noble, but they never responded. I plan on trying
> again. I'd kind of like for them to see for themselves what their site looks
> like in an accessible format.

My experience is that commercial companies don't care.  Even not for profits
that have be convinced to make their page pass syntax validation can
ignore reworks to linearise reading order and insert Hn elements.

> once the code was valid. Most of the accessibility errors (maybe 85%) were
> inside of areas that are probably templated, so once these areas are fixed,

Templated areas means you can abandon any hope of bypassing change control
procedures; they will have to go to a programmer after a change request 
has been completed, prioritised (the real problem) by a manager and allocated
to a programmer.  Even if such changes go through, you can expect 3 month
lead times.  The cost of the sort of change you suggest is likely to be
upwards of two man days once all the paperwork and retesting are taken
into account.

Actually for a major commercial web site, you will probably need to go
through a lot of change control paperwork even for static pages.

Also remember that the webmaster almost certainly didn't write the pages,
and the contractor they employ is almost certainly going to apply change
control procedures, and probably charge them for the additional work.
The design consultancy is likely to react poorly to "amateurs" trying
to improve their work - they will certainly try to reject any suggestion
that the fault was other than in the customer's specification.

The reality is, unless the request gets to board level, as might happen
if there was a threat of legal action, accessiblity changes don't get made
on sites that were not designed from the outset with accessibility as a
requirement.
Received on Thursday, 29 March 2001 04:13:31 GMT

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