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Re: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 15:05:25 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The exchanges under this topic, as with all mail from this list, are
available on the web as email archives.  How do those of you advocating for
folks with cognitive disabilities believe the accessibility of such an
archive should be handled?  Some may think this a pointless and silly
question but it gets at something I wonder about under this entire topic.

Should someone be appointed to rewrite each post to a level appropriate for
the cognitive understanding of each population?  How about conversion of
each post to some symbol system?

When approaching the folks at a place like Dejanews, what should be
mentioned with respect to the accessibility of their offerings.  They
archive much of Usenet and numerous email discussion lists.

Even with proper encoding, there are vast parts of the web that I don't
have a chance of understanding.  Recently I helped a college with some
accessibility issues related to the posting of various PhD theses.  There
were more than a few of the documents that were of limited understanding to
me because I lack the knowledge and experience to understand the field of
discussion.  How do you address this issue when exploring the needs of
people with cognitive disabilities?

Then too, what about the fact that different content sources are intended
for different audiences and the fact that part of being a good information
consumer is finding the sources that treat the material with a degree of
depth and quality of writing that you desire.  The Wall Street Journal
treats economic news much different from USA Today.  There's an implicit
level of understanding assumed by the folks who put out both of these
resources and the folks at the Journal assume the average reader has more
of an existing understanding of economic workings.

I am blind and there's little chance I'll ever independently fly a plane or
drive a car safely.  I don't think that the web accessibility guidelines
are intended that I be able to do so say on a web site that simulates
either activity.

What about a college course taught online?  My understanding of existing
case law and judicial rulings in this area indicates that modifying the
course material to a lower level of cognitive performance is not acceptable
i.e. you can have extended time, the material read outloud, sometimes be
given essay questions instead of multiple choice exams and occasionally a
course substituted but you must still complete material at the functioning
level of the course.
Received on Thursday, 10 June 1999 18:04:40 UTC

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