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RE: Accessibility Proxy seeks interested ISPs

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 23:29:35 +0100 (BST)
To: "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
cc: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20020419225849.L353-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

On Fri, 19 Apr 2002, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

> Don't want to be a party pooper but I personally am a little skeptical
> whether this approach would be of any use. I'm not saying it wouldn't or
> couldn't work but practically I don't feel it would produce satisfactory
> results.

Well, thank you for your thoughts.  I'm going to take issue with them!

>  Firstly, and this is a political point that |I know others on the
> list feel strongly about, it's not going to help our cause for simply
> providing accessible sites in the first place which is hopefully our
> ultimate goal?

I agree entirely with that goal (as you know, I have put a lot into it,
not least by making Site Valet available to developers).

But the cause of universal accessibility is not best served by making
"the best" into an enemy of the good.  And if my proposal can shift
the goalposts for accessibility, by rendering some significant
proportion of the WCAG redundant for users of participating ISPs and
by having enough ISPs to make it genuinely accessible, is that not
a Good Thing?

And if users of my proxy can get online using a 1995-vintage Pentium
at under $100, is that not *far* more accessible than facing them with
a four-figure equipment cost to get online in the first place?

>	 I am a little more pragmatic lets say and so if I felt
> something would help in the meantime to resolve existing issues without
> effecting our goal then I would be glad to see it done. However, I don't
> feel this approach is such a thing.

That I'll take as a challenge!  I'm busy all day tomorrow and much of
Sunday, but I shall try and find some time for hacking it next week.

> >From a practical point of view let's consider a flash site. Unless the flash
> contains appropriate information and assuming the recently announced flash
> accessibility techniques could be used appropriately you still wouldn't get
> any sense out. There's many other situations this approach would have
> difficulties but I won't go on.

Again, you're making the best the enemy of the good.  Whereas you are
probably right about Flash (not having read the spec, I don't know
what information I could hope to extract), if I can completely dispose
of the problems in, for example <font> and <frame>, is that not better
than nothing?

> The cases where the approach would be useful I believe can be solved using
> existing techniques such as browser configuration, stylesheets etc and
> suspect a greater awareness and availability of these type of client
> solutions would probably be more beneficial.

Heh!  OK, when I've put up a demo, you can show me how to accomplish
the same thing at the Client.  Oh, and if your solution requires
equipment that is going to cost over $100 up-front to the blind user -
many of whom are not rich - then that doesn't count!

No offence taken, but that's fightin' talk anyhow:-)

Nick Kew

Available for contract work - Programming, Unix, Networking, Markup, etc.
Received on Friday, 19 April 2002 18:42:31 UTC

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