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Re: Tech, Condem, and Inform (Was: Re: OT (slightly): Salt Lake '02 Web master: Inaccessible site)

From: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 10:24:05 -0500 (EST)
To: tina@elfi.org
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0110300958230.12431-100000@smarty.smart.net>
On Tue, 30 Oct 2001 tina@elfi.org wrote:

sometimes I feel like I'm in over my head on this list, so please forgive
me if I make some rather dumb mistakes.  I am an accessibilty engineer not
a computer engineer, and I have been using but not designing the web for
over 20 years.  I couldn't write HTML if my life depened on it, but I do
know accessible design.  That being said

> On 29 Oct, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
> > 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

I don't see holding a particularly bad example up for scrutiny as a public
lynching.  The Olympic sites are not like regular sites and they are
visited extensively by the public.  also the Olympic mandate includes
accessibility as a condition of recieving the Olympic bid, so that makes
this a very real issue

>   During late spring 2001 I returned to an old hunting ground to look
>   over the current crop of web developers. This is something I do on
>   occation, so gauge knowledge and attitude.

how many of these new developers are given one tool and told this is how
to use it to make web sites. rather than here is how good web sites look
and here are some of the tools to make em.

one of the major problems is that Microsoft (irregardless of ones opinion
of them) has perpetuated the myth that they ARE the standard and that if
what you do does not cater to their standards than it cannot be

the internet was created by a bunch of "Computer geeks" who needed to
share information. at that time there were a multitude of operating
systems and standards. the web was created using a "Common
denominator" and that basic standard made it work.

Today I see too many glitz shops ignoring the basic standard and making
something to fit a single browser.

also one of my pet peeves is that many many of these people are ignoring
the "World Wide" part of the web.  many places in the world especially the
third world keeping an 8086 running and getting service via a 1200baud
dial up modem IS INDEED state of the art.  I work with some disabled folks
in Central America.  the independent living center was just able to
"upgrade" to an "Apple II" computer system and I think they are getting an
original MAC if things work out.  I tried giving them my old 486 but they
weren't able to use it because it exceeded the ability of the rest of
their systems to handle.  power systems in the country are not stable nor
are the phone lines even digital. many are still analog and use operators
to complete calls.

  this is not to say the Web should be dormant but it also needs to
realize that the rest of the world needs desperately what is on the web
and being more and more often denied to them even if they have no
disability that affects thier use of a computer.  

thus that which makes the web "accessible" to those with disabilities also
allows the web to just be accessible to over half of the worlds population

>    "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."

are we facing the possibility of the takeover of the web by one or two
companies????  will this be healthy???  is it good for world wide
communiciations???  should there be a "Basic" standard that is open
  the WAI is dominated by American/European interests should "We" be the
standard setting agency??? is there any enforcement of these standards
anyway????  or is it possible that one group (take your pick) take over
the standard setting by default???

there are hundreds of operating systems through out the world, the
standards have to be a minimum that can be used by all of these systems
from the most modern in the first world, to the non english character sets
used in many other countries (such as Japan, the Middle East, China
etc) and of course the third world that is starving for the knowledge
contained on the web.

I worry about the doctor in the mountains of Nicaragua trying to access a
medical site to find out about how to treat a patient and being told to
upgrade his system before being allowed on

the visually impaired person in India being told they cannot access
materiels in audio format until they spend a years wages on software that
will be obsolete by the time it is paid for.

etc etc etc

getting down off my soapbox and ducking for cover


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Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 10:13:17 UTC

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