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Re: Could RSS revolutionize accessibility?

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 19:52:52 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000201c40b87$e47415c0$440bc650@tversdata>

As I see it, content syndication with RSS could be the most important thing for accessibility happening at the moment.

If we have a million web sites of the nice kind being accessible, let us say WAI-A, we would still have a million very different web sites with very different information architecture, with very different navigation.

Even accessible web sites are a big challenge for many people with disabilities. The major stumbling block is often the homepage of web sites, homepages are often very complex, and most often different from site to site.

If the same web sites also use RSS Feeds, we have the potential of having one interface not to one web site but to a million web sites for all major items of news, articles, debates, product information, etc. Each group of people with disabilities could have their own RSS FEED Reader optimized for that particular group. The aggregated RSS Feeds would be a gigantic leap forward to a more accessible web, at least a much greater leap than some skip navigation for a single web site we use to talk about.

We still have many problems with RSS syndication. At the moment some of the standards are made by half-crazy individuals probably knowing nothing about accessibility. Even W3C is not involved in some of the standards. RSS syndication is the closest we have been to the semantic web so far. A major battle is taking place. Are we going to get something really helpful to people with disabilities or just missed opportunities? We should all join this battle. The accessibility community should not take a power nap waking up in a year or two just in time to criticize all that went wrong.

Best regards,

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 2004 13:44:49 UTC

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