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Re: Accessibility - No. 10 Downing Street Website

From: Iain Wilkie Logan <iainlogan@enterprise.net>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 00:41:25 +0100 (BST)
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Marcel-1.42-0420234125-72bkrWe@iainlogan.enterprise.net>
On Sun 19 Apr, Alan J. Flavell wrote:

Hello Alan / WAI

> Thanks for raising this issue!  I see that you also posted it to
> usenet, so I am not breaching any confidences in forwarding it to
> others. (WAI)

I have now written, and posted by snail-mail, the following to the Prime
Minister, CC'd to my local MP. Alia alia est.

[The email address for No. 10 is <PCartwright@pmo.gov.uk> in case you missed
my CIWAH posting]


Dear Prime Minister,

          The No. 10 Downing Street Website

I am writing to express my deep concern about some very serious
accessibility problems affecting your website.

I was alerted to this by an article by John Naughton in yesterday's
'Observer', and duly confirmed it by several personal visits to the site,
and a subsequent posting to the web authoring newsgroup on the internet,
which has elicited a prodigious response. Put simply, as the site now
stands, it will be difficult or impossible for many blind and disadvantaged
webnauts to gain access to it, and to participate in the forthcoming debate.
I am sure Mr. Blunkett would be able to confirm this were he to visit using
a speaking web browser.

For the last eighteen months I have been active, both professionally and
privately, in the cause of preserving the concept of universal access to the
wonderful resource that is the web, just as was originally envisaged by its
British creator. This is now actively under seige by commercial interests
with a very different agenda. I am certain that it is their influence that
has led directly to the accessibility problems with your website. Likewise,
I am sure you will be as astonished and appalled as I was when the
implications of this situation become clear to you. Few things in life are
worse than bad things being done in the name of a good man.

May I please ask you to look into this as a matter of urgency. To assist, I
am attaching some (rather technical, I'm afraid) references which will lead
to the relevant facts, and aid in putting things right. If I may be of any
further assistance, I shall be delighted to help.

Wishing you every success in the future, 

(etc., etc.)

Attached: A reference to the CIWAH thread cited in the heading.
          A referral to the validator at W3C.
          A list of 'htmlhelp.com' resources.


All the best,



Iain Logan, Langholm, Dumfriesshire - Chartered Transport Consultant
Received on Monday, 20 April 1998 19:46:58 UTC

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