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Re: nomenclature

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 10:02:02 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: love26@gorge.net
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 07:41 a.m. 12/01/98 -0800, William Loughborough wrote:
>Although I'm not much of one for being concerned about Political
>Correctness or even what things are called it seems to me that we might
>substitute "Inclusive Design" for the rather vague "universal design"
>since it says something about what we're really talking about and
>promotes the central notion of our "aboutness".  Inclusion is furthered
>by inclusive design, etc.

At risk of starting a semantics/"politically correct" debate, I
don't like the idea of "inclusive design" because the connotations
of "inclusive" seem to imply an active* "outreach" to a group of
people* who have special needs* in order to be included.

I marked with a * the items that I think are questionable.  While I
do believe that inclusive/universal design is important for granting
access to our friends with various disabilities, I don't feel that
it's necessary to emphasize these as "extra work you have to do to
provide for the blind and handicapped", which is how many people
will interpret what's said above.

I don't think you need to _actively_ "reach out and include" people
as part of universal design; the strength of the term universal
design (or a similar concept) is that the web pages can be used
by anyone or anything, not just that they're "including" some 
minority group.  Sad to say, there is a backlash against "inclusion",
at least in many parts of the US -- witness Mr. Raspberry's 
mean-spirited little tirade in the Washington Post.  If it smacks
of "political correctness", many people will have knee-jerk
reactions against even simple common sense suggestions, let alone
anything that truly is just.

For these reasons I feel we get farther by emphasizing that the
benefits of "universal design" grant "inclusion" to whatever people
may be lacking it, PLUS it makes it easier for non-standard high-
tech browsers to use the web, PLUS it makes it easier for search
engines and other intelligent sifters to parse your site, PLUS
blah blah blah.  Sell it all as a package, and we're much more
likely to get at least ONE point that speaks to the listener.

In short, people suck, and most don't care about being "inclusive",
so if we put all our eggs in a basket with that label, we'll be

Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>             http://www.idyllmtn.com/~kynn/
Chief Technologist & Co-Owner, Idyll Mountain Internet; Fullerton, California
Enroll now for web accessibility with HTML 4.0!   http://www.hwg.org/classes/
The voice of the future?   http://www.hwg.org/opcenter/w3c/voicebrowsers.html
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 1998 13:28:19 UTC

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