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Re: SPAM(6.1) Re: OFF TOPIC - Shame on Google

From: Joachim Andersson <joachim.andersson@etu.se>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 13:44:48 +0200
Message-ID: <a92e08980809050444s60a87easd5e3421a8c6414f2@mail.gmail.com>
To: "James Craig" <jcraig@apple.com>
Cc: "David Woolley" <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>, "Accessys@smart.net" <accessys@smart.net>, "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "wai-xtech@w3.org WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, webaim-forum@list.webaim.org
There is no "accessibility police" in Sweden. Sadly I have to confirm that
my experience tells me that many companies and also many authorities in
Sweden actually have no knowledge to determine if a provider really conforms
to W3C standards and recommendations. Further more, even when they do, the
understanding of these standards and recommendations is poor. Many companies
selling services and applications state that their products and services
conform to W3C standards, but the don't. Out of ignorance or poor knowledge?
That is hard to determine.
There is a goal set, stating that all public service websites in Sweden are
to be accessible to all in the year 2010. This will certainly not happen,
but right this moment the European Union are discussing a new set of laws,
actually demanding that this will become reality. The interesting part is
that the accessibility police is yet to be invented.

On the other hand, take a look at all the web browsers available. None of
them actually supports all W3C standards. All of them have different ways of
interpreting code. This gives us a good idea of how long it will take to
reach the goal of information being accessible to all. If the tools for
rendering the information keep having different ways of interpreting code we
have a long way to go.

I know of one CMS that has taken on the task of following ATAG in a way I've
never seen before. The company behind it is called SenseLogic, and the CMS
is called SiteVision. This tool actually asks users to provide relevant
information to the content, such as alternative texts and correct header
levels. It does this in a way that does not require technical knowledge. I
believe looking at content management systems is the way to do this. Almost
every company and every authority uses one. Their staff will never reach the
level of knowledge to create accessible web based material on their own.
They need a tool to guide them, without concern for technical issues. I do
not work for SenseLogic and I have no connections to them. This is only a
reflection of thoughts on ways of making web accessibility a reality, not a
way of selling a product.

Do you know of other tools providing this posibility?

Joachim Andersson

2008/9/5 James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>

> David Woolley wrote:
>  Joachim Andersson wrote:
>>> In Sweden, Canada and the United States there are laws on how
>>> accessibility should be a part of development.
>> Are they enforced?  In the UK such laws exist but are not enforced.
> There is no "accessibility police" to enforce the laws, but some have been
> successfully enforced via lawsuit. The recent Target settlement was for a
> suit by the NFB regarding the enforcement of one national and one state law.
>  Even where companies have policies, when it actually comes to buying, the
>> supplier and buyer often find ways to get round them.  The same goes for
>> electromagnetic compatibility, a subject dear to the heart of another
>> minority, amateur radio operators.
> Speaking of getting around accessibility policies, I like to think that's
> not out of intentional subversion, but out of pure ignorance. If I assume
> it's intentional misdirection, I get bitter and start to lose faith in
> humanity.
> In my experience, most vendor sales rep and purchasers do not know enough
> or do not care enough about accessibility to made informed choices. For
> example, a purchaser may be required to purchase products that conform to
> Section 508, but often just has to take the word of the vendor sales rep. In
> previous jobs, I've been asked to verify whether a particular vendor's claim
> to Section 508 compliance was accurate. It never was. "Section 508" had just
> become a buzzword that vendor sales reps knew they had to say.
> The best case scenarios I've seen were by purchasers that wrote it into the
> contract that if they were ever sued for the vendor product's
> inaccessibility, or if the product were ever determined to be inaccessible,
> the vendor would not be paid, or would be required to refund payment. Most
> of the time, the vendor's lawyers prevented this version of the contract
> from ever being signed.
> James
Received on Friday, 5 September 2008 11:45:30 UTC

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