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Re: The Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *

From: B.K. DeLong <bkdelong@naw.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 17:07:46 -0400
Message-Id: <199809292108.RAA26057@antiochus-fe0.ultra.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Very interesting sentiments, Kynn. I spent a good portion of last week
sitting at a booth at Web '98. I coordinated, planed, and managed an event
for Web Accessibility and the Web Standards Project. If I let myself be
discouraged, I could easily be because we didn't have nearly as many people
as I had hoped at either event.

But, I managed to have Web Standards Project brochures at every
non-profit's booth (ACM, WOW, AIP, WITI, CPSR, and Webgrrls) as well as a
huge stack of W3C sheets talking about the Web Accessibility Initiative and
their Page Authoring Guidelines. When I'd feel my audience slipping from
our organization, I would jump in really quick about the other two efforts.

Every time I saw someone from an educational institution, government
organization, or military installation, I mentioned the 1996 US DOJ ruling
about how Web sites of public libraries, colleges and universities, state,
federal, or local government organizations AND- this one got them- almost
everyone who has a government contract need to be compliant with Title II
and III of the ADA, EVERYONE was interested. I ran out of information
sheets and people requested I e-mail them the URL for the page authoring

Plus, I explained to all other Web developers that the Page Authoring
Guidelines really go over how to make your Web site more accessible without
having to completely sacrifice design...or maintain a completely seperate
text page. When Web developers hear accessibility, they think work. If you
think about it, it really isn't. If you're Web site is HTML 4.0
compliant....then you're most of the way there to being Accessible.

Also, I think we should follow the good ideas of the Web Standards Project.
They are going after the "user agent" and "authoring tool" manufacturers,
having them make it so Web sites are more accessible. If we convince the
Web developing public that this is a good cause, (as the WSP has convinced
them.....), then they will fully support Web accessibility.

It's just a matter of figuring out how to push people's buttons and how to
get them going. Don't get discouraged. If people like you who are working
so hard for the cause lose faith....then so will everyone else. Keep up the
excellent work.
B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
Director                         Suite 140SC-305
New England Chapter     Boston, MA 02115
World Organization        (617) 247-3753
of Webmasters

Received on Tuesday, 29 September 1998 17:08:15 UTC

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