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The Good News Is...

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 05:20:52 -0800
Message-ID: <352390B4.9849E94D@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Just 4 "Web Years" ago I (at Mike Paciello's kind invitation) attended
the Consortium's kick-off breakfast for the Web Access Initiative (1 Web
Year = 3 calendar months).  I have been extensively involved in some
lists, the Authoring Tools Working Group, and face2face meetings in
Austin and Los Angeles.  

Frequently I have encountered those who feel that there has been much
foreplay and little satisfaction so I think we might examine some of the
"good news" of what the initiative has done in terms of fulfillment to

I. The IPO's startup and full integration into the overall mission of
the Consortium is remarkable and forms a model for government and
industry's promised effort to work towards the Initiative's goals. Judy
and Daniel have created a monster whose organization is cohesive and
comprehensive: i.e. the group intent on making HTML 4 and CSS "access
intensive" succeeded admirably; the guidelines are in a form that will
be useful both as a checklist for authors but even more importantly as a
documentary basis for such things as regulations for governmental web
site accessibility compliance and industrial web author recommendations;
by referring to the guidelines the group on Web Authoring tools will be
able to help vendors in their efforts to use the code examples and
suggested mechanisms for inclusion in compliant page and site authoring
software; the ratings and certification group will provide a set of
tools for determining if the guidelines have been recognized by authors;
the education and outreach efforts that have already generated national
awareness of our goals will be able to get this news into books, media,
and board rooms.

Every meeting I have attended in person or as a conference call has
produced an extremely high light/heat ratio so that some of the output
is already felt in such places as Microsoft's Accessibility effort in
which Bill Gates has promised to assure that their own products will
become increasingly accessible and their Logo program will require their
partners to make a similar effort in order to achieve the MS imprimateur
on their products.  The words in various government pronouncements from
the leaders of the executive branch, through the speeches and letters of
Judy Heumann of Education, and opinions from Justice, not to mention the
Communications Act have been clearly heavily influenced by efforts of
those taking part in the WAI.

I hope that the meetings in Brisbane will consolidate all this and raise
the growing awareness of the importance of inclusion in anything called
a "World Wide Web".  

We are organized.
We are effective.
We shall overcome.
Received on Thursday, 2 April 1998 08:24:01 UTC

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