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RE: Updated again: "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

From: Karl Groves <karl.groves@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 19:06:55 -0400
To: "'Sharron Rush'" <srush@knowbility.org>, "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4d9e4392.c34ee50a.43d0.4be7@mx.google.com>
Thanks for the reply, Sharron.  I'm glad to hear from you.

> While there are admittedly other aspects of the
> overall redesign, accessibility is definitely not
> as trivial as the coat of paint you compare it
> to.  The point is this:    As accessibility is
> integrated into the development process, it has a
> profound affect on how design decisions are made.
> The improved results are so closely interrelated
> that - well, you can not separate them, which is
> what I think you said.  Would the outcomes have
> been as great if the deliberate inclusion of
> accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't
> know.  Improved outcomes have been demonstrated
> in other cases, but we have permission from Legal
> and General which, I believe is why we rely on that one situation
> so heavily.

I kept the above paragraph because I didn't want to seem to be taking things too out of context.  You say: 
" Would the outcomes have been as great if the deliberate inclusion of accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't know."

I think this sort of makes my point: we don’t know whether L&G's amazing results were specifically due to accessibility improvements.  In a presentation aimed at making that argument, any case studies included should be *just* about accessibility.  I feel that a more compelling business case would be one in which a list of accessibility problems were found, they were repaired, and they were shown to have a specific and directly attributable benefit.  

Unfortunately finding such a business case will be quite difficult. As you note, accessibility often is not (and should not be) its own separate effort. All teams involved in design & development need to integrate accessibility into the entire process in order to get a more accessible end product and so when it is done right it is more of a quality of work issue. Nevertheless I still feel that such "business case" would be as closely tied as possible to accessibility only.

As you note in the remainder of your response, getting a client to consent to using them as a business case is a challenge.  I've been trying to get some business case-type data from some for a long time as well and it is difficult.


Karl L. Groves
Director, Training
Deque Systems, Inc.
Phone:  443.517.9280
E-mail:  karl.groves@deque.com

Is a non-compliant website putting your organization at risk? Visit www.deque.com

Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 23:07:28 UTC

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