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Why I posted the SLC response

From: Debi Orton <oradnio@albany.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 07:47:17 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

>This all still really bothers me.  I dislike the use of the WAI lists
>in this manner -- finding and identifying and shaming creators of bad
>sites in public -- because I think it weakens our case if we become a
>virtual lynch mob rather than a useful educational resource.  We can
>get more done if we help and teach rather than if we attack and
>I don't disagree that this person could use some accessibility
>training, but I don't think it's good for anyone to have their flaws
>as a web designer publicly "exposed" or debated in a forum such as
>this, unless they specifically request a critique or assistance.  It
>only makes _us_ look bad, and makes _them_ less likely to listen to


I didn't post this to virtually lynch the SLC site web designers.  They did 
an excellent job of that themselves.  I posted it as an example of a 
resurgent attitude I see every day, from people who have been fully exposed 
to the principles of accessible web design.  I see it from my own 
administration, despite my resistence to do it--"They've got it on their 
site and it looks slick.  I want it on our site too."

Although I did find the reply overall very humorous, the key phrase in his 
message is this:

"We recently identified many opportunities to make the site more
accessible, but to be honest, a lot of the improvements in web technology
in the last 10 years are due to things that seem to not conform with W3C
accessibility guidelines."

This attitude is prevalent and is becoming a huge barrier to those of us 
who want to encourage accessible design.  What good is the work of 
developing guidelines if, ultimately, the people you're dependent upon to 
put them into practice think they're worthless?

This wasn't intended to be a roast, simply a report.

Debi Orton/oradnio@albany.net
"The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of 
time...and you can't see it if you refuse to face the possibility." -- 
William S. Burroughs
Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 07:43:44 UTC

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