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Re: Guild of Accessible Web Designers starts membership drive

From: Byrne, Jim <J.Byrne@gcal.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 16:40:04 -0000
Message-ID: <BBF11F64.21492%j.byrne@gcal.ac.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi Harry,

You will be happy to know that your concerns are shared by many of the
current members of the Guild - and that participation by disabled people,
and user testing, has certainly been on the agenda, and is still on the
agenda. I would encourage you to join - as your thoughts and contribution to
the development of the Guild will be greatly appreciated.

Where on the site is the phrase 'the disabled'? As someone who is very aware
of the 'social model of disability', it is a phrase I am unlikely to have
used myself.

What the Guild is, or what it stands for, is not summed up by the few
remarks that I have written on the home page of the site - if you have a
look at the discussion forum at http://www.accessifyforum.com/forum15/, you
will see that all of the issues related to accessible web design, and the
Guild are hotly debated.

The Guild of Accessible Web Designers  is not a private organisation that
dictates to its members what to think - the membership is the organisation.
Please join so that you can be sure that it really does address the concerns
you have.

The membership form can be found here:

All the best,

on 12/1/03 4:08 PM, Harry Woodrow at harrry@email.com wrote:

When I saw this invitation I felt pleased that at last Accessible Web 
Design may find a new forum and voice however my joy turned to 
disappointment very quickly. 

To me Accessible Web Design must focus on the users and this group 
apears to be be relegating them to a very minor place.  Accessibility is 
not a technical issue it is a people issue and it appears that the focus 
on people has been lost. 

An indication to this is the reference to "the disabled." 

Whilst when I am referred to as the disabled by most people I do not 
object as this is just ignorance however when an organisation purporting 
to be professional refers to people with disabilities in this manner I 
do as professionals should know that such references are offensive to 

I have great respect for the technical abilities of those who appear to 
be connected with this organisation however this site has led me to 
question the focus, making websites useable to people or performing an 
set of rituals in design regardless of the result. 

I hope I read this page wrong.  I fear I did not. 

Harry Woodrow 

-----Original Message----- 
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On 
Behalf Of Pat Byrne 
Sent: Monday, 1 December 2003 8:02 PM 
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
Subject: Guild of Accessible Web Designers starts membership drive 

The Guild of Accessible Web Designers 'went public' today. Although the 
Guild is not ready for an official launch, they are looking for new 
members who are interesting in helping to develop the organization. The 
intention is to launch officially some time in early 2004. 

The Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS.org) is  a membership 
organisation set up to promote the practice of acccessible web design, 
and the interests of accessible web designers. 

The website is at http://www.gawds.org.  New members can sign up at 

There is a lot of information about what the Guild is about, and what 
it intends to do, on their website and on the Accessify Discussion 
Forum at http://www.accessifyforum.com/forum15/ 


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Received on Monday, 1 December 2003 11:40:17 UTC

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