W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1997

Re[4]: Ability taxonomy bh

From: <jim@arkenstone.org>
Date: Wed, 28 May 97 17:04:55
Message-Id: <9704288648.AA864864295@arken.arkenstone.org>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, w3c-wai-wg@w3.org


     I was guilty of overstating the case for the WAI, since the Web clearly 
     benefits some subset of people with a wide range of disabilities, including 
     people with visual and motor disabilities today.  Some of the potential 
     users are ruled out because the browser is unsatisfactory for them, some 
     because the source material is inaccessible, and many because they don't 
     have access to the technology, either because of financial or logistical 
     I do think that the WAI is an important opportunity to influence the source 
     material issues of the Web now.  It seems that there is also some 
     significant interest in browser issues.  Changes made now actually have 
     some chance to affect the quality of access and its reach.
     >To suggest that work for the vision impaired is a prerequisite to, or 
     >directly portable to, work for other groups of disabled is inaccurate.
     Work for the vision impaired is not solely useful for the vision 
     impaired.  A huge group of people with learning disabilities, that far 
     exceeds the population of the visually impaired, require these changes 
     for effective access to the Web because they have difficulty reading.  
     Although we have started in the blindness field, we have have 
     increasingly been researching the needs of the LD population, which 
     has a significant overlap with the needs of the blind.  
     The ability to get better information about document structure and 
     content is useful to the blind and might well be applicable to the 
     needs of someone who needs the material in a less complex form, 
     although they may be sighted.  I've had good conversations with folks 
     providing servers that take complex documents and break them down into 
     less complex documents.  I think this trend could be valuable to 
     another large segment of people with disabilities.
     Addressing the needs of the blind will be a prerequisite to and 
     portable to some groups of people with disabilities, and not to 
     others.  This is a more accurate statement than my earlier message.
  Jim Fruchterman                    jim@arkenstone.org
  President                          Arkenstone, Inc.
  555 Oakmead Parkway                1-800-444-4443
  Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA            1-408-245-5900
  "Information Access for Everyone!" Fax: 1-408-328-8484
Received on Wednesday, 28 May 1997 19:58:27 UTC

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