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Re: Debunking the need for "text-only" parallel sites

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 15:44:34 -0400
Message-Id: <199905211948.PAA27127@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: "Nick Traenkner" <nick@kentinfoworks.com>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Kynn, you are eloquent as always.  The allusions to the fight for civil
rights are never long in coming!  They continue to be appropriate.

It gets trickier.

There is a large contingency of folks who believe that a "text-only"
version is desirable.  This belief comes both from users (some of whom who
are blind) and developers (some, like Microsoft, are quite sophisticated)
who sincerely believe that they are doing the "right" thing.  There is also
the (large) middle ground of sites that offer poor quality "text-only"
versions because they think that they "have to" and they (mistakenly)
believe that these (scraps of text) will save them the work of
(re)designing their site correctly in the first place (it won't).  It is
this large middle ground that we most need to get the message to.  How do
we do that?

It is my understanding that during the desegregation of the schools that
there were pockets of resistance by blacks that wanted to keep their
all-black schools (which, in many cases, were quite dear to them, and not
all were of inferior quality).  How were these folks convinced that
universal desegregation WAS as good thing?  How do we convince a blind user
-- who LIKES coming across "text-only" pages that s/he is accepting a
"disability ghetto"?

Getting back to my initial post -- Can anyone provide URLs to hard data (or
research or surveys) that supports the position that text-only parallel
sites are counter productive?

Short of this, can anyone provide URLs for sites that advocate for the
creation of text-only parallel sites?  (At least then we could point the
authors of such documents to this discussion thread.)

Thank you all.

Bruce Bailey


>> Why isn't a text-only view of information
>> which does not use visual or audio data as its core
>> elements now considered bad?

> Three words:  "Separate. But. Equal."  You will people who very
> strongly consider the idea of "ghettoization" of the disabled to
> be a worse sin than inaccessible pages.  While I am not quite so
> dogmatic about this, I can certainly see the point and I think
> there is an implicit assumption that "disabled folks cannot use
> the web as well as others can, therefore we need to make special
> accomodations for them" and that is insulting when in reality,

> Sorry for raising my voice.
Received on Friday, 21 May 1999 15:48:20 UTC

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