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RE: accessibility supported questions

From: <Accessys@smart.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 10:14:09 -0500 (EST)
To: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0903311000530.29501@fzneg.arg>
On Tue, 31 Mar 2009, Patrick Lauke wrote:

> > Accessys@smart.net
> > the key part of at least USA law is that it cannot be considered
> > accessible or compliant if it requires a person with a disability
> > to have a specific piece of equipment or software that is not
> > required of everyone or is not provided free to everyone who needs it.
> Are refreshable braille displays available free for those who need them?

I am not aware of any, but audio outputs "may" be considered
alternatives and there are a number of free versions of those.

> Before projects like NVDA (still quite flaky), was there any freely
> available
> Screenreader for Windows, or was Windows then deemed non-compliant?

windows or rather "requiring" windows is non-compliant.

> The way I understand it (and this is, of course, my personal
> interpretation),
> the whole concept of accessibility-supported technologies is there to
> ensure
> that, in principle, there is at least a baseline reassurance that
> content is
> created in a way that it can be perceived/operated/used in at least a
> best-case
> scenario (user with latest technology available...latest version of JAWS
> etc for
> instance). The specific decision of how far to fall back to, though, is
> then left
> up to site developers/owners, and not mandated through WCAG itself.

no there is a "baseline" level in the USA at least and there is a law.
in the USA 28CFR36.301[c] prohibits a surcharge for individuals or
groups of individuals to access something that non disabled
individuals or groups are not charged.

this has been ruled by courts to include the web.

there are other rules and regulations in various countries going into
more detail on this.

> I could foresee that, when it comes to court cases involving sites
> claiming
> WCAG 2.0, a lot of the discussion will revolve around whether or not the
> choice
> regarding which accessibility-supported technology (baseline) was chosen
> and
> if that choice was realistic.

already has occured and I am sure there will be more.

> > what about connection speeds, how fast is a minimum speed needed.
> Is speed an accessibility issue? If I'm on a slow connection, does that
> *prevent*
> me from accessing content, regardless of ability/disability? My feeling
> would be
> that no, it's not an accessibility (as in relating specifically to users
> with
> disabilities) issue.

at some point there is "Too slow" to function.....this was a question
I don't claim to know the answer.

> > everyone likes to work on the cutting edge but many people with
> disabilities
> > are on the edge of poverty and cannot afford upgrading every few
> years.
> Fundamentally, that's a societal issue, rather than one that should be
> addressed
> by web content accessibility guidelines as such. But, as noted above, if
> it came
> To court cases, the choice of technology will need to be weighed up
> against the
> particular audiences a site is targetting.

if someone is required to have specific software to run something that
others can see fine, then in is likely a violation, but if that
software is free but will only work on certain platforms that cost
money it could be a violation.
and targeting an audience is not valid excuse unless non targeted
audience is barred from the site entirely.

> > many people with disabilities (and others) just don't want to change,
> > they have figured out the assistive tech they have and it works for
> them,
> > so do they need the newer bells and whistles, and should we force them
> to
> > aquire these?
> Personally, I think that "preference" is not a strong enough case for or
> against
> technological choices. Some of my visitors may prefer to use Mosaic 1.0
> or Netscape 2.0,
> but that doesn't mean that I'm only making sites that target that lowest
> common
> denominator.

but when is preference strong enough,  "most" people "prefer" windows
OS but it has already been ruled that one must support other operating
systems that meet certain minimum levels,  certainly MAC OS must be
supported, and Linux, but what about Unix, BsD, etc etc etc... what is
the cut off.

and you are in the UK which has different rules and laws.... the
problem is this is a "WORLD wide web"


> All that IMHO, of course.
> P
> ________________________________
> Patrick H. Lauke
> Web Editor
> Enterprise & Development
> University of Salford
> Room 113, Faraday House
> Salford, Greater Manchester
> M5 4WT
> UK
> T +44 (0) 161 295 4779
> webmaster@salford.ac.uk
> www.salford.ac.uk

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Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 15:15:02 UTC

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