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RE: GW Micro Helps Make Macromedia Flash Content Accessible to People Who Are Blind

From: Michel Thouati <michel@lithium.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 14:55:12 -0800
Message-ID: <1119DF44DC4C504596BC71DD44D3BB54F8E1@ION.corp.lithium.com>
To: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I am not sure that we need to be dismissive of others - we all have
reasonable opinions even if we don't agree. 

Here the question is:
- should we expect that everyone who caters to a given clientele make
their product accessible for this clientele (and only this one)? and the
answer is probably yes, i.e.:

- a site which works hard at making itself accessible to Mac users
should probably be expected to be made Mac accessible as well
- a site which only target MS users should probably only be expected to
provide accessibility to MS users.

I think that it is also fine to expect progressivity in how accesibility
is reached - i.e. we should probably expect MS accessiblility to be
reached before Mac accessibility in the general case because of the
relative % of the target users. Don't you think that it makes sense?

It's fine to be critical of profit - but without it there would be no
site at all...

Take care all,

Michel

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles F. Munat [mailto:chas@munat.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2002 10:52 AM
To: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: Re: GW Micro Helps Make Macromedia Flash Content Accessible to
People Who Are Blind


RUST Randal wrote:
>>I use a Macintosh
>>and it is bad enough not being able to see many websites because they
>>are coded for the Microsoft users of this world.
>
> You can't fault web designers for building sites that work in the
browser
> that is used by about 91% of internet users
> (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp).

Yes I can. I can because I believe that human beings have rights. I can 
because I believe that accessibility is a human right. I can because I 
do NOT believe that the profit motive is the only legitimate motive for 
taking action. In fact, I believe it is almost always the least 
legitimate motive. And I can because I believe that web designers, like 
everyone else on this planet, should be held accountable for their
actions.

> If you want to be able to view all of these supposed web sites that
don't
> work, then you should be helping to promote web standards.

Is there anyone on this list who is not promoting web standards?

> Designers build
> sites to reach the largest audience possible.  This is a simple fact
of
> life.

Utter nonsense. In fact, this is so obviously false that I'm shocked 
that you could even think it.

How can you in one paragraph note that web designers are locking out 9% 
of their users intentionally and then in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH claim 
that designers build sites to reach the largest audience possible?

What most designers do is try to reach the largest group FOR THE LEAST 
EFFORT. If it will take them 50% more effort to reach 5% more users, 
then they consider that a waste of effort. That's because they must put 
profit above human rights, or risk losing their jobs.

And the sad truth is that most people just don't give a hoot about 
accessibility. They may pay it lip service (and many won't even do 
that), but they're not going to make any *personal sacrifices* for it.

> I'm not saying this is necessarily the right way, but it is certainly
> the reality of things.

Ah, but you *are* saying that it is the right way, because we indicate 
the "right way" not by what we say, but by what we do. Actions speak 
much louder than words.

So when we accept the status quo and make excuses for why things are the

way they are, we are saying with our actions that this is the right way.

Why would one defend or accept the wrong way?

Throughout history, more evil has been wrought under the banner of 
"reality" than in any other way. It's a crock. Reality is what we make 
it. We cannot escape responsibility for our creations by pretending that

they just "happened" and that we are making the best of it. We created 
this world and we can uncreate it, too.

>>The Window-Eyes Professional software for Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP
>>Home Edition, and XP Professional retails for $795.00,
>>
> I suppose you expect they'd give it away for free, or sell it for $30?
> Sometimes the expectations that people have are just silly.

I'd expect these capabilities to be built in to every piece of software,

since they are required for humans to use the software. That would make 
products like Window-Eyes superfluous.

Sincerely,
Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Tuesday, 5 March 2002 17:59:16 GMT

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