Re: Multi-Channel Section First Draft from Ken

Hi Ken,

I am more comfortable with your proposal with regards to replacing 
"accessibility" with "availability" though I still think what y'all are 
talking about is access. I also think that the digital divide 
encompasses more issues than "device", connectivity and accessibility 
(such as gender issues, affordability, culture, etc., as evidenced most 
notably by the enormous work done in the scope of WSIS) but I understand 
that you are probably trying to address specific factors.

However, I must say that I am most uncomfortable with the idea of 
limited accessibility for the sake of prioritizing greater availability 
or distribution (such as giving examples of library books and making the 
analogy with on demand access to closed captioning). As it stands now 
and as the field of accessibility evolves, I think that these sort of 
statements could go against policies in certain areas with regards to 
accessibility of online content and could even be, in certain cases, 
percieved as discriminatory. Perhaps I misread your article and if so, I 
apologise but in short, I feel that this document should not make 
proposals that could be interpreted as suggesting specific policy which 
could result in limiting access for certain types of populations.

Best regards,


Catherine Roy
Chargée de projets
514.948.6644, poste 222

Ken Fischer wrote:
> I updated the contribution in favor of using availability and mentioned
> interoperability and connectivity.  I think device issues though are not the
> same as interoperability and I point this out..
> sibilities-in-distributing-content-to-the-social-web-and-non-government-webs
> ites/
> 	Ken
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Ken Fischer 
> Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 1:08 PM
> To: 'Catherine Roy'; 'eGovIG'
> Subject: RE: Multi-Channel Section First Draft from Ken
> Thanks Catehrine.. So basically use digital divide to refer to
> accessibility,interoperability, and connectivity..
> Thanks..  I will make those changes..
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Catherine Roy
> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:28 PM
> To: Ken Fischer; 'eGovIG'
> Subject: Re: Multi-Channel Section First Draft from Ken
> Hi,
> I have been following the work of this Working Group through its mailing 
> list and related information sources since its creation last year, 
> though this is my first posting to this list. I would like to comment 
> the content submitted on the multi-channel section. My comments have to 
> do with the question of how Accessibility is being proposed to be 
> defined in this section.
> Accessibility has already been well-documented and defined by W3C, 
> through WAI, as well as by other related stake-holders (and I think that 
> so far, the working draft has respected these precedents). I believe 
> that what is being proposed in this section is therefore a problem when 
> it lumps together device (interoperability), bandwidth (connectivity) 
> and access by persons with disabilities (accessibility) within the 
> general concept of Accessibility. Taken together, these concepts should 
> be treated within the concept of universal access or universality (also 
> traditionally defined by W3C).
> I also think that it is erroneous to leave out accessibility (as defined 
> by W3C, i.e. catering to the needs of disabled users) when talking about 
> the digital divide. Although the sentence in question talks about how 
> the digital divide is *typically* referred to ("Device and bandwidth 
> issues are typically talked about as the ‘digital divide’") this could 
> be misconstrued as accessibility being ouitside the scope of this issue 
> while, in reality, it is generally widely accepted that accessibility, 
> or lack thereof, is an important component of the digital divide.
> Best regards,
> Catherine

Received on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 20:11:07 UTC