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RE: How to Complain to a Webmaster

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 10:05:05 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Ben Canning" <bencan@microsoft.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 09:42 AM 10/31/2001 , Ben Canning wrote:
>The one quibble I have is one your last point about escalation . I don't think there's anything wrong with going public about the inaccessibility of a major site provided it's done with tact and without ad hominem attacks on the webmasters. In fact, I think it s crucial that escalation in one form or another does occur.

I don't think I said "never escalate", just that it's rarely useful.
If it's what's necessary, then give it a shot, but don't expect that
it will have much of an effect.

>Of course, I m not arguing for this community to becomes a band of crusading harpies denouncing evil webmasters for building inaccessible sites

...but that is the very real danger.

>we both recognize that the problem is more a lack of awareness than malice but it s only by making the public aware of these problems, escalating to use your term, that we ll avoid designers building inaccessible sites in the first place.

There's no way to stop them, is there?  Other than education.  Public
attacks might, at best, shame a few of them into changing stuff, but
it will always be at the surface level -- a cheap fix guaranteed to
get the protesters off your back and you can then issue press
releases about how much you pay lip service.

>It s great that you re willing to provide free accessibility consulting to the SLC site, but that s not really a scalable solution in the long run, is it? We need to prevent these sites being built this way in the first place.

How do you prevent them?  Through teaching, not through public chastisement
and humiliation.  How much good did all the talk and complaining about the
SLC site do?


(PS:  I'm not willing to provide free consulting to SLC, just point them in the
right direction.  I explicitly made -- in private email -- an offer to provide
consulting and training services, not-for-free.)

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Wednesday, 31 October 2001 13:07:14 UTC

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