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RE: Technical baseline clause revisited?

From: David Best <davebest@cogeco.ca>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:41:28 -0400
To: "'Karen Lewellen'" <klewellen@shellworld.net>, "'ALAN SMITH'" <alands289@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Phill Jenkins'" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, "'Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL'" <ryladog@gmail.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004f01d203a6$854f0ad0$8fed2070$@cogeco.ca>
Karen, well said!

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Lewellen [mailto:klewellen@shellworld.net]
Sent: August 31, 2016 12:02 PM
Cc: Phill Jenkins; Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Technical baseline clause revisited?

Hi Alan,
Finally a moment to address your question.
Speaking only for myself, I can think of many many reasons why such a list is 
No matter how well intended, requiring a combination of tools  to my mind does the 
1, you are absolutely guaranteed to discriminate against someone because you 
suggest adaptive tools are interchangeable.  In many cases such tools are 
extensions of a persons hands, eyes, ears, feet, and brains.
In general you do not require the public to use a different set of hands or eyes 
or a different brain when visiting one business than another...you should not do 
this with websites either.
second, you support the wrong idea that everyone who might share a label are 
exactly the same.  You meet one person with a learning disability, or a dexterity 
issue or sight loss and you have met them all.
further you overlook the possibility that a person may experience a combination of 
conditions, may require a combination of tools.
An example, there is, in my opinion, an absolutely reprehensible  product called 
essential accessibility.  This product claims that if a company installs it, 
"anyone with a disability," can use the site with the company not needing  to make 
any changes whatsoever...you automatically serve all people with disabilities at 
My favorite example from their how to guide is the requirement of someone to hover 
a mouse point over an area  to have that area  read aloud...I am
not kidding.   I know of three Canadian companies who installed this thing
and never looked at access again because they believe that there is no distinction 
between those branded as disabled.
  third, you limit the
flexibility of the tools themselves, especially open source tools that may be more 
easily obtained, but never find their way into t he testing process.  Not to 
mention, if a company ceases to exist, for example g. w. micro who makes window 
eyes is gone, you may be requiring tools that cannot be obtained.
fourth, you encourage stereotyping, a company may download a demo, pretend to be 
blind for 30 minutes, and never check their site again...for years.
You diminish what is a life experience down to something that can be faked by a 
person and this is frankly unacceptable.
A long time ago someone posted a link to a blog entry where the author points  out 
an important truth.  Frankly the nature of my body is no one's business but my 
own.  I can visit a store in stilettos, or sneakers, and still visit that store. 
If you are substituting business functions on your site, the same must apply.
Simple example presently happening with  google mail.
Many individuals still prefer using their basic html interface with their adaptive 
tools. However a few days ago the ability to move between new and older  groups of 
mails vanished entirely, with the count presently reading like this.
messages 1-50 of 0...with no way to reach message 51.
People are panicking  because a basic keyboard function is missing and if they are 
like myself, I have 15 thousand emails in my gmail account, I fear the loss of 
years worth of my work..all because someone forgot that everything needs to work 
from the keyboard.
Such is why when asked I explain to others that website building should be much 
like road construction.

if a road is built well then any car
should travel on it.  You can certainly add fancy painting to the highway, and 
plants and the like, but the road still works.
Additionally, there is space there for all driving abilities.
    creating a list of adaptive tool combinations removes the human uniqueness 
from allowing a person to enhance their life as they desire  into you cannot be a 
proper person with this disability unless you use what I say.
Finally, the concept of adaptive tools are still too far outside of popular 
culture and exposure for many to even expect them to exist, let alone understand 
In the case of the company I am fighting their policy is based on feasibility, 
meaning if a person does not think a talking  computer is possible,  they can 
refuse to accommodate...which is of course unreasonable...and is presently 
I personally prefer choosing adaptive technology that will not do me physical 
harm, and some tools used by others with whom I may share a label besides human 
will do that to me.
By the numbers, most people experiencing blindness no longer read braille.
Does that mean the less than 10% minority should not find Braille displays work? 
Of course not, no more than that 90% majority should lose keyboard function.  The 
more you try to define how a person accommodates their individual experience, the 
less inclusive or human you become.
  Just my take,

On Wed, 24 Aug 2016, ALAN SMITH wrote:

> My challenge would be that if a website works with only one set of or
> a couple sets of browser/screen reader combinations does it not meet the wording 
> of ?o. it [the website] works with assistive technologies (AT) and the 
> accessibility features of operating systems, browsers, and other user agents." 
> This statement does not say all of each or all of any.
> Am I getting too literal I?Tm my interpretation of it.
> Companies cannot be expected to support every and all combinations of all of the 
> items in the statement.
> Therefore, if they have a set that they know works through their own testing or 
> validation from a 3rd party and meets the guidelines with that set, then why 
> cannot they state which ones they support and use to have their website 
> compliant?
> Alan
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
> From: Phill Jenkins
Received on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 16:42:14 UTC

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