W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-eo@w3.org > July to September 2006

Re: Education and outreach to the unconvinced.

From: Alan Chuter <achuter@technosite.es>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 13:26:34 +0200
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.td0kqk1tzqgw0t@0104xpd.e-fti.com>

This would be such a wonderful reply, if it weren't real. Someone who  
who's willing to say what so many think but don't dare to. There are a  
number of documents out there that deal with frequently believed myths  
about web accessibility, but not a WAI one, I think.


Alan Chuter
Accessibility Consultant
Technosite (formerly Fundosa Teleservicios)
Tel. +34 91 121 03 35

En Mon, 07 Aug 2006 16:51:50 +0200, Liam McGee <liam.mcgee@communis.co.uk>  

> Dear all -- just something I'd be grateful for some feedback on. Having  
> listed a client website in the Applegate directory (well respected by  
> Google) I wrote to Applegate (http://www.applegate.co.uk/) to complain  
> about, among other things, tiny text with inability to resize. I dashed  
> it off without really giving it a lot of time, just a whinge, really,  
> but their response brought up some interesting educational issues.
> Liam:
> "Many people over 40 won't be able to read the text. Most people over 50  
> will have difficulty.
> "The tiny default text size is compounded by the way the page is coded  
> -- the page has *disabled* the text size options in Internet Explorer  
> (try going to View > Text Size > Largest... no change apart from slight  
> increase in size of bullets).
> "This is fairly problematic, partly in light of legal requirements for  
> accessibility under the UK Disability Discrimination Act, but mainly  
> because you are excluding a lot of older users together with many people  
> with a vision impairment (roughly 1 in 20 of the population!).
> "I'd be very keen to see this fixed. If your techs don't know how, it's  
> actually very easy (mainly centres around newstyle3.css), and I or  
> someone else from Communis can take them through the steps required.
> Applegate Technical Director:
> "Dear Liam
> "As Technical Director of Applegate your comments regarding  
> accessibility to Applegate have been passed to me to respond to. We do  
> take accessibility to our products seriously despite the fact that there  
> is little commercial justification for incorporating these features in  
> to the site. The problem from our aspect is the lack of any one agreed  
> standard that covers the requirements of all interested parties. Perhaps  
> W3C can come up with something on this but at the present, as I  
> understand it, there are various issues covering font size and type,  
> colours and voicing of the content to name but a few. We are at loss to  
> know where to start given the limited commercial benefits.
> "Your comment ‘Many people over 40 won't be able to read the text. Most  
> people over 50 will have difficulty.’ over eggs your other valid points.  
> Those of us in that age group have trouble with not just computer  
> screens but newspapers, menus, credit card slips, golf score cards,  
> instructions on packets and so on and simply have to resort to a pair of  
> reading glasses. It is not a big problem and certainly not particular to  
> web pages.
> "I would be interested in hearing what you can offer to overcome these  
> issues.
> "With best regards
> "Andrew Tweedie"
> ...
> So, an interesting case study. he's interested enough to reply, but  
> believes
> a) there is no commercial justification
> b) causing users reading difficulty is not a problem
> c) there is no agreed standard
> So, firstly, would be interested in any figures that might re-educate  
> him... but secondly, would be interesting to discuss his  
> misunderstandings from the point of view of mythbusting.
> Thanks
> Liam
Received on Wednesday, 9 August 2006 11:27:07 UTC

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