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Re: How Far Can Web Accessibility Go?

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 06:57:47 +1100
Message-ID: <3FE89E3B.2060201@acslink.net.au>
To: keiko okada <k-okada@mitsue.co.jp>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

keiko okada wrote:

>Are the developers and the disabled users going to meet somewhere
>reaching a confortable level, where both parties will be satisfied and
>happy? What will be "enough" in terms of web accessibility? Could we
>ever say, "enough is enough"? Enough for who? The users, right? But we
>know we cannnot make everyone happy. We must compromize somewhere. But
>where should we draw the line? 
Software developers already implement accessibility to a greater extent 
than web developers because of the tools and architecture they use; 
SDKs, IDEs, APIs and general ability to follow standards better than web 
developers (sorry if I am offending the more respected WDs amongst 
you).  It's very interesting to look at the two streams of development 
and why they differ so much in their ability to adopt and implement 
accessibility.  It's also a good reference for encouragement that this 
will also happen on the web.  The big difference so far is that in 
native software application accessibility is implemented almost 
transparently without any, or much conscious effort because of the well 
designed APIs, SDKs and tools.  Unfortunately this is not the case on 
the web, and that is not necessarily to tool makers fault, it is also 
because markup is a different medium than software APIs.

>I also would like to note that the visually and hearing impared are not
>only those  who will benefit from accessible web sites. There are also
>people with slow internet conenctions, physical disabilities, learning
>disablities, and so on. So whom are we referring to when we say
>"Disabled"? Accessible web sites do improve everyone's (including those
>who are not disabled) web surfing experience in some degree. But again,
>we cannot make everyone happy. 
I feel people who design and develop with accessibility in mind more 
fully address these very issues you just raised.

On a general note, from my personal perspective, I believe we will only 
get high level to a high level of web accessibility when tools, mainly 
backend and CMS's address these in their basic architecture.  So far, 
it's been a long journey and looks like still being a sojourn. 

Geoff Deering
Received on Tuesday, 23 December 2003 15:00:56 UTC

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