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Re: Accessibility and learning/cognitive disabilities

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 21:24:12 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: Terry Brainerd Chadwick <tbchad@tbchad.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 09:17 PM 10/31/2001 , Terry Brainerd Chadwick wrote:
>Last week's discussion on inclusion, and the lack thereof for people with learning disabilities, along with Kynn's statement today that all-text sites aren't accessible to people with reading difficulties, has piqued my interest in the subject.

Hi, Terry,

There is not a lot of information about this within the general realm
of web accessibility, but there is plenty of information if you look
outside of WAI and web-specific information.

You have been told correctly that 508 does not provide for the needs
of people with cognitive disabilities.  WCAG itself is also weak in
this area, a problem which will hopefully be fixed in WCAG 2.0 (but
don't wait for that to make improvements).

Within WAI reading, you should pretty much read everything which
has been written by Jonathan Chetwynd and Anne Pemberton on the
WAI-IG and WAI-GL mailing lists. ;)  They are the ones who have
spoken up the most on this, and although they are often controversial
they challenge us to think and not forget about this population 
which, honestly, has trouble articulating their own needs in a
forum such as this.  Also of value are Al Gilman's posts on this
topic, although Al tends to talk about a wider variety of things. :)

The body of knowledge that has been brought into the WAI continuum
is still very limited.  There's not been enough digestion and
synthesis of ideas so far, which means that when we talk about
web accessibility for people with disabilities we still have very
vague notions -- such as "use plain and simple language" and "use
illustrations."  We don't have, as web developers, enough
experience to know the full parameters of the equation, because
it has been an ignored issue for quite a while.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Thursday, 1 November 2001 00:26:18 UTC

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