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RE: The two models of accessibility

From: Gerard Torenvliet <g_torenvliet@sympatico.ca>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 09:42:34 -0500
To: "'Nick Kew'" <nick@webthing.com>, "WAI Mailing List" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <jmr56nr2ej2rcfj.030420030942@127.0.0.1>

Nick:

I think I disagree with your definition of accessibility.  If I understand
you correctly, you would say that a Braille display of text is highly
accessible. I would disagree. A Braille display is certainly highly
accessible to someone who has both the tactile or visual capability to
perceive Braille forms and who can understand them. However, it is not
accessible to someone who either cannot perceive the the Braille forms
(i.e., because they are blind and lack motor control in their hands) or to
someone who cannot understand Braille.

I also think that you would say that the instrumentation and displays of a
cockpit are generally not accessible, primarily because many displays depend
on complex visual forms that are device-dependent (and hence, that cannot be
understood by assistive technologies). I would agree that cockpit
instrumentation is not accessible to a blind person, however, it is
generally highly accessible to pilots (who cannot be blind, at least not
yet). Evidence of this is the fact that thousands of airplanes take off and
land each day -- this would not be the case if the information presented by
these displays was not accessible to pilots.

I think the weakness of defining accessibility from a point of view of
device-independence is that, just as you state later in your post, this
definition does not do a good job of covering situations of mental
disabilities. Textual display (i.e., a device-independent form) may be much
less accessible to those with mental disabilities than visual displays
(i.e., pictures). 

Best regards,
-Gerard
Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 09:42:35 GMT

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