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Re: Accessible _content_ management

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 23:20:00 -0400
To: andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org, wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <001101c220ae$2f9f1bb0$19e03244@DAVIDPOEHLMAN>

Andrew, You bring up a valit point to which I can only respond that in
all things, there is usually at least a little training.  I believe that
in most of what best practices is designed to do is embodied the idea of
an approach that minimizes the cost of ownership as you have described
it here.  This is of benefit to all end users of any product and is a
good business strategy as well while achieving the broadest acceptance
possible.  If for example, I develop an audio only interface, How many
people have I left in the dark not counting those with hearing
difficulties?  Not counting those with any defined disabling conditions?
The answer is many.  The reasons are legion.

The ideas encompassed in universal design provide for accessibility in
terms of use as well as availability so The equasion does not stop at
making something available unless you take it at least to the point
where it is accutely available or easily available or some such.  This
also applies to the output of a software product for instance, If the
output is accessible/available but not usable by someone either because
it is proprietary or is not manipulatible by available tools, available
being person centric, that information is not accessible in the sense in
which we form the answer to the question of what is accessible.

Thoughts?  Discussion?...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Kirkpatrick" <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 9:38 PM
Subject: Re: Accessible _content_ management

This brings up a question of semantics -- does accessibility imply
"usable by a person with a disability" or
just that the "information is available to people with disabilties (or
their user agents)"?

If you believe that accessiblity is simply making the information
(content, structure) available for users, then
the greater challenge is ensuring that the information is provided in
such a way so that all users, including
those with disabilities can easily understand and make use of the
information.  For example, FrontPage
might have every aspect of the application be designed so that the
information in each dialog box and
interface element is available.  If a user with a screen reader needed
to access a part of the interface that
allows him to insert a link into a web page, but it was very difficult
to find (it worked fine once found), is the
application less accessible, or less useable for that person?

In the end, I believe that we are all interested in the same end point,
but I find it useful to have clarity on
this point, particularly when talking with people not regularly involved
with accessibility.  Does accessibility
fall under usability or does it exist along side usability, but focused
on people with disabilities?  I'm interested
to hear what others think about this.


6/29/2002 2:07:44 PM, kynn-eda@idyllmtn.com wrote:

>Jon wrote:
>> Thought for today:
>> Which is more accessible; Notepad or FrontPage?
>Accessible by _whom_?  That the question -- accessibility does not
>exist in a vacuum, it is a function involving human beings.

Andrew Kirkpatrick
CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
125 Western Ave.
Boston, MA  02134
E-mail: andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org
Web site: ncam.wgbh.org
Received on Sunday, 30 June 2002 23:20:32 UTC

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