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Re: the official definition [of web accessibility] from the W3C is wrong

From: Kate Perkins <kperkins@hugeinc.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:50:19 -0800
Message-ID: <CAP5ys90ToWn_O4c-Ucf1LN0CafsBPS-5FnGSKbYPLfZ2-ZLg_g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Steve, I have read your comment and all of the follow up comments, and I
think that this it is vital to continue this conversation.

I am an unofficial accessibility advocate at a Huge, a digital agency.
I've spent the past year talking to different people and departments in my
company about accessibility practices to make it a part of our baseline
offering for web development, not an "extra."  One of the results of this
process was that we decided to "re-brand" accessibility within our agency,
as that word carries some weight and preconceived notions.  For project
managers, it sounds expensive and like it might dip into the bottom line.
For Developers, it sounds like difficult and thankless work that will keep
you working late night.  For business owners, it sounds like a distraction
from more important business goals like SEO optimization and building the
next big feature.

The key takeaway here is that was wasn't an "us" against "them"
conversation.  The main thing people think about it "how does this affect

So I presented a "re-branding accessibility" presentation that was well
received, and drove home a new definition of accessibility.  Our
definition: "*Disability is the deficit between user and system
capability.  Is it the responsibility of the system, not the user, to
bridge that deficit.*"  Huge is known for it's user experience work, so
this hit home for everyone.  This may not always be the right definition;
it may depend on the audience.  But for us, this reset the conversation
about accessibility and removed existing negative assumptions from the

Food for thought.  Because of this experience, I have to disagree with
Phil.  For a conversation about accessibility to affect change, you have to
position it as a tool to achieve the goals that your audience already has.

— Kate Perkins Horowitz

Kate Perkins Horowitz / Business Analyst
T. 718 880 3805
www.hugeinc.com / www.twitter.com/hugeinc

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 3:17 AM, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>

> discussion starter:
> "We need to change the way we talk about accessibility. Most people are
> taught that “web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use
> the Web”— the official definition from the W3C. This is wrong. Web
> accessibility means that *people* can use the web."
> source: Reframing Accessibility for the Web
> http://alistapart.com/article/reframing-accessibility-for-the-web
> --
> Regards
> SteveF
Received on Thursday, 12 February 2015 18:51:34 UTC

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