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Re: Why I Disfavor Using "Universal Design" in the Title

From: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 12:16:30 +0100
Message-Id: <199812151116.MAA29519@www47.inria.fr>
To: ehansen@ets.org
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I think at the heart of the issue is the answer to the question: do we
want to promote these guidelines as focused first on accessibility for
people with disabilities or as focused first on accessibility no
matter what medium is used.

To the question: why do we do that ? 
do we want to answer:
  - it's for people with disabilities, e.g. blind or mobility impaired 
    users, and it also benefits screenless or mouseless users,
    e.g. webphone or handheld device users  
  - it's for anyone accessing the web thru a phone or a
    handheld device, with no screen or mouse, and it's also for people
    with disabilities, e.g. blind or mobility impaired users. 

Eric, you wrote:

> One thing that I am not comfortable with is the possibility that the
> page authoring guidelines lose their disability focus and I am
> concerned that overuse of the term "universal access" might lead to
> that. I think that it is appropriate to point out how these
> guidelines will greatly benefit nondisabled users as well. But I
> would like to keep the primary focus on issues that differentially
> disadvantage people with disabilities.

May I ask you to elaborate on this part ?

While I agree with you (you convinced me that is) that Universal
Design is not the appropriate term for what we do (as Jason
summarized, we're missing most of the comprehension/semantics pieces
of design), I think naming one thing after another more powerful thing
(the difference being esoteric for most people) is a marketing trick
many people have used before us.

Alternatively, we could used a name like "Universal Access
Guidelines", to focus on the medium/structure part (how do we provide
the information) and less on the semantics part (what is this
Received on Tuesday, 15 December 1998 06:16:41 UTC

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