W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2009

Re: Discussion: Accessibility Issues Procedure

From: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 14:10:41 +0200
Message-ID: <1e3451610907250510l79acd94duf3369a00d72404bc@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
"No one from the HTML WG threatens to institutionalize, or for that matter
incarcerate, sterilize, or euthanize either persons with disabilities or
members of WAI. To imply otherwise is inflammatory and insulting."

To characterize my statement as an implication about WG "threats" is absurd.
Of course it's inflammatory but any "insult" is on your part.

"That is what  the demands seem like be because that's what they are." That
you characterize the proposals as "demands" but seem to think that this
makes it true that they ARE "demands" is embarrassing. You are not the
dictator of the semantics of nomenclature. They were clearly "proposals" for
discussion and not lines in the sand which is the implication of "demands".

Whenever things like this come up in other areas, like racial
discrimination, the response is "I never owned any slaves". The whole point
of my rant was that this is a different kettle of fish than JUST technical
matters because of the history of these matters. We still live in a world
where people generate completely pointless systems like <canvas> with NO
thought about their use by blind people and Google's introduction of Chrome
before it was usable by screen readers is a further example.

That @summary came under attack based on shaky premises (little used, not
really useful, etc.) is more evidence that there is a pervasive
insensitivity to accessibility being built in rather than bolted on. I
realize you don't agree and at a younger age I might not have either, but
I've been in this for too long not to be highly (overly?) sensitive to the
slightest incursions into this area.

What you said was that it was "just like any other issue" and my examples
(inflammatory ones, if you will) were to point out that it was NOT like
others because of the history. I've been around this stuff for 50 years and
the lack of historical perspective on the part of almost all members of most
W3 WGs is astounding. When I learned that almost nobody at TPAC had even
heard of Norbert Weiner and very few of Claude Shannon and then met a
Computer Science student who hadn't heard of Tim Berners-Lee the impression
expressed by someone on IRC about "20-something know-nothings" didn't seem
far off the mark.

I regret having fanned your flames, but it's what I do and at my age am
entitled to do. I'm sure if/when we meet you'll find me interesting.

Love.
On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

>
> On Jul 25, 2009, at 2:14 AM, William Loughborough wrote:
>
>  With all due respect I would like to point out a fundamental reason why
>> your arguments do not apply to this situation without even chiding you for
>> inappropriate characterizations of "genuflecting", "getting your way", etc.
>> because on the surface that is what the "demands" seem like.
>>
>
> That is what  the demands seem like be because that's what they are.
>
> It may seem rude to put it that way, but honestly I found the proposal
> itself to be rude, and was amazed at the restraint that Sam and Ian showed
> in responding to it.
>
>  The difference between this set of circumstances and the cited SVG/CSS and
>> other similar "battles" is that just as the U.S. congress in the preamble to
>> the ADA and the UN's recent proclamation about disability rights point out
>> there has been a systematic/official discrimination against people with
>> disabilities, including really severe stuff like
>> incarceration/sterilization/euthanasia. Nobody from CSS WG threatens to
>> institutionalize members of SVG WG but people with disabilities live with
>> such realities all their lives.
>>
>
> No one from the HTML WG threatens to institutionalize, or for that matter
> incarcerate, sterilize, or euthanize either persons with disabilities or
> members of WAI. To imply otherwise is inflammatory and insulting.
>
> As far as I can tell, everyone in the HTML WG who has spoken up on the
> matter believes in web accessibility for the disabled. What we have
> disagreed on is the best technical means to achieve this goal. To say one
> technical position represents human rights and another represents
> discrimination is just a cheap way to wrap yourself in the flag. It adds
> nothing to our understanding of the issues, and should be outside the bounds
> of reasonable discussion.
>
> Similarly, making elaborate proposals for process concessions is no
> substitute for making a case on the technical merits or for building
> consensus for your point of view.
>
> Regards,
> Maciej
>
>


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Received on Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:11:25 UTC

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