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Re: Race and gender issues

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 14:06:47 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230904c212145cd335@[]>
To: Ben Weedon <ben.weedon@serco.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Ben Weedon wrote:

>Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone knew of regulations 
>concerning web design and
>gender or race? Is there any formal documentation surrounding this, or is it
>simply covered by the non-web based legislation in each website provider's

In terms of REGULATIONS, for ths US, I think it's generally covered 
by regulations on using non-discriminatory language (Web and 
non-Web). But there aren't any additional "accomodations" you would 
need to make like you would for a Spanish speaking user (in the US) 
or for a visually impaired user.

Everything else depends on the context and target audience.

There may be cases where you want to use images of people from 
different socioeconomic backgrounds or mix references to different 
races/genders to show your service is welcome to all.  Many federal 
government service Web sites are designed for inclusiveness.

Or you may want a gender/race neutral design like Google which is 
meant to be used by anyone regardless of their background (although 
their changing logos are an interesting reference to an international 
audience...but that's another story)

Or you may really be targeting a specific audience and want to tilt 
your site in that direction (e.g. a Web site for BET TV or Lifetime 
TV or Spike TV). In that case, your best bet would be to research 
design preferences for different cultures.

Just my two cents.


Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Monday, 5 March 2007 19:29:52 UTC

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