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How not to get a good reaction from a webmaster

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 20:54:40 -0800
Message-Id: <a05100302b805348c8058@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I received the following from Debi, and I think it provides _very_
important context, and also illustrates exactly what you _should not
do_ if you want to be part of the solution and not just complain about
the problem.

In my opinion -- as long as we are using this list to be judgmental --
I'm amazed that Debi received as civil of a reply as she did.  In
context, I see the following message as being _very_ off-turning
and his reply suddenly seems a model of tact and understanding.

He responded well to my approach of treating him like a decent and
well-meaning human being who could be enlisted as an ally -- and he
spouted off doubletalk (and likely wrote off completely) someone who
considered him the enemy.

Which tactic do I think will get us further?  Well, you be the judge.
I continue to be very much against a divisive policy of simply
blasting people with inaccessible sites.  And I believe it was very
poor form for Debi to send a letter like this, and then post his
reply without the vitally important context of _what_ exactly he
was replying to.

--Kynn Bartlett

>X-Sender: oradnio@albany.net@mail.albany.net
>Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 23:29:56 -0500
>To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
>From: Debi Orton <oradnio@albany.net>
>Subject: Re: What the Salt Lake City guy really said
>At 07:36 AM 10/30/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>>  >>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).
>Here is the original message.  You'll recall I mentioned that it was 
>input to a form, so I'd had to cut and paste it into a text file to 
>preserve it:
>Do you have any plans to make this site accessible in the near future?
>    I don't use Javascripts and dislike frames (as do most users), so I had to
>    go to another computer just to write you this message.
>    If you're trying to portray the Olympics as an elitist sporting event
>    that caters only to the wealthy and the digital "haves," then your web
>    site is doing the trick.
>    If you'd like to include those of us who don't have access to the latest
>    technology and live in rural areas where attaining even a 28.8
>    connection is a noteworthy achievement, then you're failing badly.
>    What about those nations that don't have access to anything more than a
>    286 or 386?  What about those individuals who are blind or hard of
>    hearing?  Have you even considered them in this site?  I don't believe
>    you have.
>    I had planned to include the Olympic Committee in my annual charitable
>    giving this year.  You have just taken them off my list.
>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

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Wednesday, 31 October 2001 00:03:18 UTC

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