W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2001

Re: Disability statistics

From: Denise Wood <Denise_Wood@operamail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 02:52:05 -0500
To: Demonpenta2@aol.com
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <3C2088AC@operamail.com>
>Right...but how many companies are going to want to chase after the small 
number of people that are actually afflicted (for lack of a better word) with 
those disabilities, or severity thereof, that actually affect the use of the 
web?

Take your point John. However it depends on which statistics you quote. I have 
seen conservative estimates of 10% of the population and also statistics 
estimating up to 40% if you take into account the "hidden disabilities". The 
other aspect to this is our aging population. Increasingly we hear of retired 
folk going online. Internet courses for the over '50s in Australia are hugely 
profitable - always sold out. We know in general companies are targeting 
consumer products to reach this population. We also know older people have a 
range of age-related problems, not the least being visual impairments. So I'd 
argue that this is most certainly not a "small number of people".


>Furthermore, nobody teaches accessible web design. No college student I know 
taking IT-related major with a web concentration has to learn accessible web 
design. And after college...why would the developers want to take the time 
learning something that after one or two projects is going to be useless?

There are courses that teach accessible web design. I am enrolled in two 
concurrently - one run through the International Webmasters Association (Kynn 
is the instructor - free plug there Kynn) and the other run by EASI in 
conjunction with University of South Maine (conducted by Norman Coombs and 
Dick Banks who are well known to some of you). True these courses should be 
more readily available in all colleges and I hope that some day they will be 
part of the "stable" of courses offered all IT training providers. That will 
take some time but it will happen. Section 508 I think will drive that 
interest as more and more private companies build accessibility standards into 
their packages. This is already evident with Macromedia leading the field, 
Adobe, Blackboard and WebCT all following close behind. So to get a job with a 
major company in the future, IT graduates will need Web design skills that 
meet these standards. Furthermore, the authoring tools themselves are now 
providing accessibility checklists and auditing facilities to help designers 
as they develop their web sites. OK still a way to go - but things are moving 
in the right direction.

Denise

       John

-------------------------------------------
Denise

Dr Denise L Wood
Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
University of South Australia
CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
Mob: (0413 648 260)

Email:	Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
WWW:	http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood
Received on Sunday, 16 December 2001 02:52:37 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:13:59 GMT