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RE: What the Salt Lake City guy really said

From: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 12:10:56 -0500 (EST)
To: "Michael R. Burks" <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
cc: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, Debi Orton <oradnio@albany.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0110301210390.2289-100000@smarty.smart.net>
On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, Michael R. Burks wrote:

> Kynn,
> I checked it out it has no relevance to what we are doing.

but it does appear to be accessible

Bob
> 
> sincerely
> 
> mike burks
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Kynn Bartlett
> Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 10:37 AM
> To: Debi Orton
> Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: What the Salt Lake City guy really said
> 
> 
> 
> Okay, let's take a look at this.  This was written by "Ed Mitchell,
> senior graphic designer" for the 2002 Olympic Games, according to
> his email signature.
> 
> >>What can I say, I really think the majority of our users are very
> >>satisfied.
> 
> This is probably true, of course.  If this is his criteria on which
> the site is judged, then there's certainly a very good chance that
> the majority of his users are satisfied.
> 
> Of course, it does exclude some minority groups of users, specifically
> people with certain disabilities.  The question then is whether or
> not he has an obligation to include them in his criteria for
> success.  I certainly think he does, and so the _new_ question is
> "how do we convince him of that?"
> 
> >>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 is also true.  There are a number of "new technologies" (as WCAG1
> euphemistically calls them) which are not built according to accessibility
> principles.  Of course, there are a number of things he could do which
> _do_ conform with the W3C's guidelines -- it's just a matter of making
> sure he knows what those are and how to do them.
> 
> He says he's identified ways in which the site could be more accessible,
> but they've chosen not to do those -- most likely it's because he has
> the impression that to make an accessible web site, you need to remove
> certain "inaccessible components" from the design of the site.
> 
> Note that this is entirely a _self-generated problem_ on _our_ behalf.
> The only reason people really think that accessibility and {JavaScript,
> Java, Flash, multimedia, images, whatever} are incompatible is because
> someone in the web accessibility field either said it, or said something
> similar so badly that it was misunderstood.  There's no dark conspiracy
> of Flash developers or JavaScript programmers going around saying, "oo,
> don't make your web site accessible, you'll have to remove _our_
> pretty baubles."  There _is_ a large community of very reactive and
> well-meaning people who send very mixed messages and who cite,
> dogmatically, hard-to-understand "scriptures."
> 
> >>We try to keep the page weight down, alas it's
> >>heavier than it "needs" to be, but we'd start sacrificing a certain amount
> >>of content should we lighten if too much.
> 
> What he's saying here is that there's a conflict between the amount
> of content you use, and the amount of time it takes to download the
> page.  Nothing here is incorrect; there is indeed such a conflict,
> and the web accessibility community again has no clear answer on this,
> especially when we consider the needs of people with cognitive
> disabilities to gain information through non-textual means.
> 
> (Yes, I realize that you can reduce file sizes and the like -- and I
> am sure this guy realizes that as well.)
> 
> >>Had i to do the site again, i'd
> >>probably not use frames, but a js include for the masthead, but some
> people
> >>have problems with that too.
> 
> Notice that he's fallen into the trap of "frames: bad", "javascript:
> bad."  Which doesn't represent a failing on his part, but rather on
> our part, as a community of informed people who want to spread the
> news about web accessibility.  Our own pages -- mine, WAI's, HWG's,
> WebAIM's, etc. -- spell it out clearly:  frames aren't used here,
> javascript's not used here, images aren't used here.
> 
> >>In the end I think it's important to recognize
> >>what you're saying has merit.
> 
> I notice how nobody actually seemed to respond to or read this.  It
> looks to me as if he's saying there's merit in what's being said
> about web accessibility (note that we don't KNOW what was actually
> said, nor the tone in which it was said, since that part of the
> message wasn't quoted by Debi).
> 
> This is the key here -- the fact that he's admitting there's
> something to it, because that's our way in the door to further
> dialogue.  Outraged gnashing of teeth, condemnation of his
> organization or their professionalism, lawsuits will just make us
> look like a bunch of angry pedants.
> 
> >>In that spirit, i'd like to suggest you check
> >>out this site: http://www.susx.ac.uk/spru/, representing the furtherment
> of
> >>study into applied technology, advance understanding of the relationship
> >>between STI developments and society through pioneering multidisciplinary
> >>research,
> 
> Notice that he's not necessarily saying "this site and this long
> run-on sentence is an argument AGAINST accessibility."  He's saying
> "as long as you can suggest your pet causes to me, here's one that
> you might enjoy as well."  Did anyone (else) check out the page and
> see if it has anything we can learn?  (Or did we all just assume
> this guy is "the enemy" and thus anything he'd say is anti-
> accessibility rhetoric?)  What did you get out of the Sussex site?
> 
> >>Ed Mitchell   /  Senior Graphic Designer  / 2002 Olympic Winter Games
> >>XXX.XXX.XXXX office  /  XXX.XXX.XXXX cell  / XXX.XXX.XXXX fax
> 
> Even if he did send it as part of his signature in private email,
> I don't think it's kosher to distribute his cell phone number in
> public email without his permission, BTW.
> 
> --Kynn
> 
> --
> Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
> Technical Developer Liaison
> Reef North America
> Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
> ________________________________________
> BUSINESS IS DYNAMIC. TAKE CONTROL.
> ________________________________________
> http://www.reef.com
> 
> 

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Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 12:02:20 GMT

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