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Re: W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Statement on Web Access Report from UK Disability Rights Commission

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 11:42:28 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20040414094251.0551c990@localhost>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Here are links to DRC materials, and some thoughts in response to 
questions/comments on this list about W3C/WAI's statement on the DRC Report.

The DRC Report is available on the DRC Web site in several formats, with a 
note that an HTML version will be available shortly:
         http://www.drc-gb.org/publicationsandreports/report.asp
The DRC's press release is also available on their Website:
         http://www.drc-uk.org/newsroom/newsdetails.asp?id=633&section=1

W3C felt it necessary to respond to the DRC Report
         http://www.w3.org/2004/04/wai-drc-statement.html
because of the type of questions about the report's findings that we were 
already receiving from reporters and policy makers, and because we were 
asked by the DRC for a response to the report's findings on WAI Guidelines.

We were concerned that an impression was building -- unsupported by data -- 
that the WAI Guidelines did not address the majority of the problems 
experienced by people with disabilities on Web sites. Such an impression 
might lead some people to think that it was not worthwhile to implement the 
guidelines -- a myth that could impact all of our efforts to promote 
accessibility for some time to come. Given the importance of Web 
accessibility for so many people with disabilities, and the enormous 
collaborative effort that has gone into developing the WAI Guidelines and 
supporting resources, we felt it was vital to provide these clarifications.

It is good to see that some of the press coverage so far has focused on the 
important issues of the need for improved Web accessibility for people with 
disabilities, and the resources available to attain this. There is a wealth 
of interesting policy recommendations in the report, as well, addressing 
issues such as the need for increased training, improved evaluation 
practices, and more access to up-to-date assistive technology for people 
with disabilities -- things which provide an essential supporting context 
for achieving Web accessibility, but are so often overlooked. It is my hope 
that those kinds of issues will receive further consideration and media 
coverage, free of initial misunderstandings which we felt it necessary to 
respond to.

Regards,

- Judy

-- 
Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G530
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 11:43:38 UTC

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