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RE: Undoubtedly, an oversimplification ...

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2014 10:02:47 -0700
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00e001cf6883$d7e9ec30$87bdc490$@ca>
David Woolley wrote:
>
> Most ordinary users I talk to, particularly those over 50, don't like
> modern web sites.

That is a broad an sweeping statement based upon a perceived pre-conceived
bias and undoubtedly a non-representative sample pool. I'm 55, my father is
78, and both of us like "modern" web-sites (whatever that means). Is it
modern because it includes images? Or perhaps because to deliver on the
functionality that both he and I look for on certain websites, those sites
use JavaScript? One of my dad's favorite past-times on the web is to use
Picassa to share family photos with his children and friends (a site, BTW,
that requires both images and JavaScript).

David, when you make sweeping statements like that, please be sure to back
it up with some concrete evidence: can you point us to a poll or other
reference that shows that most people over the age of 50 are dissatisfied
with their web experience? If "we" want to change things, empirical data,
not opinion and hyperbole, is what is required to do so.


accessys@smart.net wrote:
>
> how do we encourage/educate/mandate accessible practices and usable
> websites for all.??

Well, for one, stop re-generating perma-threads like this one.

Like it or not, the modern web has evolved from gopher and terminal
connections to a robust and engaging platform, where what is shared is far
more than just "text". Perpetuating the "...it has to work in Lynx or it
isn't accessible..." fallacy (and yes, it is a fallacy) does a huge
disservice to not only the work that many are doing today to ensure and
enhance access and accessibility, but to our "cause" over-all. Portraying
and perpetuating an accessibility message so out-of-touch with the modern
web, and as overly simplistic as "it has to be flat text" makes the average
web developer scoff and ignore the real things they can do, in the context
of the modern web, to make their content *more* accessible.

The "modern web" is web content that works on cell phones as well as
desk-tops (cell phones, BTW, like the iPhone, that has a wonderful set of
accessibility features and is likely one of the most disruptive
accessibility technologies to arrive in the 21st Century), and client side
scripting (JavaScript) is being used today to inject ARIA (more "modern" web
technology) into content to improve the accessibility (certainly for
non-sighted users) - see AccDC (http://whatsock.com/) for one example.

I've been working in the web accessibility space for over 15 years now, and
I understand the frustration and seemingly glacial pace of progress. But
progress is happening, and advocating for a return to the "good old days" is
as realistic and useful as wishing for the good old days of the horse and
buggy, before those infernal horseless carriages showed up and the landscape
got paved over with super-highways.

Please, focus on the gains we've made, and yes, remind us of the gaps that
still need to be closed, but if our message is going to get through, if we
are going to "... encourage/educate/mandate accessible practices and usable
websites for all..." we've got to stop pretending that it isn't 2014 and
advocating for a return to the 1990's - that dog just ain't gonna hunt.

JF
Received on Monday, 5 May 2014 17:03:12 UTC

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