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WAI: BC - Temporary Disability or New Users

From: Charmane K. Corcoran <corcora1@msu.edu>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:22:28 -0500
Message-Id: <a05210608bc46e81ae9fb@[]>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Rational for Including Persons with Temporary Disability or New Users

Two categories of people need special mention: new technology users 
and those with temporary disabilities.  These characteristics are 
often ignored but their disadvantages are often multiplied by being 
part of other groups already mentioned. Being apart of those groups 
and also being a novice or temporarily disabled magnifies the effect 
of their difficulties. Though the membership of these groups is ever 
changing, they nonetheless can have a significant impact on the 
long-range client base and public relations for companies and 
organizations.  In particular, belonging to more than of these groups 
suggests an additional imperative for organizations to attend to 
their needs

In the case of a temporary disability, the length, severity, and 
duration of an illness can greatly affect a person's ability to adapt 
and cope with a new environment.  Some temporary disabilities extend 
much longer than anticipated or become complicated or permanent over 
time.  Therefore, relating to temporary disability as if it were as 
important as a permanent disability is equally important as providing 
accessibility for those whose disability is permanent. They may not a 
part of the group legally defined as disabled yet they may daily deal 
with identical issues and needs. To assist such individuals could 
well be considered an act of social conscience. We are not compelled 
by law but by a sense of social responsibility to a person in need.

In the case of the novice users, we are again talking to a group 
whose membership fluctuates. It could be quite complicated to 
diagnose why the members are novices. Due to age, socio-economical, 
or disability reasons, they may also be a part of other groups noted 
above. Being a member of those groups may have in part been the 
reason for being a novice user. Even if a particular person is not 
part of another group, still the needs of the unlearned have been a 
driving force for many socio-political decisions in the past. We need 
to help those less fortunate than ourselves, those who have had less 
opportunity for training for whatever reason. 

The advantage to assisting those in temporary status (as a person 
disabled or a novice) is that the company can potential gain 
allegiance and support for their products and initiatives because 
they were careful to attend to the needs of the person with temporary 


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Have a Productive Day!

Charmane K. Corcoran
Information & Project Principal
Michigan State University
Client Advocacy Office
316A Computer Center
East Lansing MI 48824

E-mail:	corcora1@msu.edu
Phone:	Dept. Office - 517/353-4856
	Direct/Vmail - 517/355-4500 Ext. 244
FAX:	Office: 517/355-0141

HmPg:	http://www.msu.edu/~corcora1/
Received on Wednesday, 4 February 2004 13:22:46 UTC

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