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RE: The second thing I don't like about the WAI-IG list (Forward From empower@smart.net)

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 22:30:47 -0600
To: <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>, "'IG - WAI Interest Group List'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002301be379b$007b6d20$c9a9fea9@gregg>
Good comments.

Couple of things to remember or think about

1) it is not only unethical, it is illegal if you have a commercial site.
(see ADA ruling)

2) I think you misunderstand some of the comments about "the broader
benefits of accessible sites".  Although some people may oversell it, most
people are just pointing out that the same things that make a site more
accessible, also make it more usable by some people who do not have
disabilities as well as some technologies (which actually do have
disabilities in a way).    These include people using mobile technologies,
small screens (as on PDAs etc) and voice technologies (phones).  It also
makes them more accessible to indexing engines and the emerging intelligent
agent software (both of which can neither see nor hear today - and therefore
can only access the text content of a site).

The point is that these are accompanying benefits.  Sometimes small and
sometime large enough that they will (for business reasons) drive a company
to do things they may not be driven to by their conscience.   (indexing for
example).  Even where they are not big enough to cause implementation for
business reasons,  it is always nice to have additional motivations to go
along with the ethical ones.  Don't you agree?


PS  I think that phone access to web sites (by people who are not used to
audio access) will actually  require that the sites be designed specifically
for that type of access.   Site will need to develop visual and audio/phone
access interfaces that are quite different.  It will be interesting to see
how this develops.

Happy new year everyone.


-- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Human Factors
Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
Director - Trace R & D Center
Gv@trace.wisc.edu, http://trace.wisc.edu/
FAX 608/262-8848
For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@trace.wisc.edu
Received on Sunday, 3 January 1999 23:33:23 UTC

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