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RE: Accessible content management system

From: Thurman, Allison (NIH/NIAID) [C] <AThurman@niaid.nih.gov>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 12:06:03 -0400
To: "deborah.kaplan@suberic.net" <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net>, Terry Dean <Terry.Dean@chariot.net.au>
CC: Ian Sharpe <isforums@manx.net>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8401A72D72CEF14AB38F17C5F30B99F211AAE3B5AE@NIHMLBX02.nih.gov>
This is what I agree with - standards are a tool, just as validators are. I think the mistake is thinking accessibility can be achieved by throwing tech or checklists at the site/app/etc. and think either are the last word. Ultimately "accessibility" can only be determined by successful use by the target audience and evaluation requires a human element that neither validators or standards can cover.

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-----Original Message-----
From: deborah.kaplan@suberic.net [mailto:deborah.kaplan@suberic.net] 
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2011 10:36 AM
To: Terry Dean
Cc: Ian Sharpe; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessible content management system

Terry said:

> I'm afraid this where we disagree. I think web standards are very 
> important

But Terry, Ian did not say  standards are unimportant. He said he does not view accessibility "solely in terms of conformance."
I've gone to countless websites which technically passed validators for their conformance but were ultimately unusable or inaccessible.

Terry also said:

> Why bother waving the "accessibility" flag, if you choose to ignore standards?

Perhaps because you care about "accessibility". That is, the ability for people with disabilities to use the websites, whether they are standards conforming or not.

Standards are an amazing tool in the Web developer's toolbox, and we should all use them. But if they are the be-all and end-all -- if we ignore accessible but non-conforming sites, or if we praise conforming sites which  are purported as unusable by users with disabilities -- then we are not using them correctly.

Received on Friday, 5 August 2011 16:06:51 UTC

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