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Re: WaitingForBob -- Selfish Reason for Accessibility

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 07:20:39 -0700
Message-ID: <393FABB7.D105EFA@gorge.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
CM:: "I think that attempts to rigorously enforce general accessibility,
whether through litigation or criminal proceedings, will give
accessibility a bad name and hinder efforts to make the Web a better

WL: Several decades ago a couple of authors had the effect of testing
whether their passions *needed* "enforcement" or could happen through
persuasion/education: Rachel Carson and Ralph Nader. Until the "2X4"
approach ensued the efforts were essentially futile. Substitute
"environmentalism" and "auto safety" for "accessibility" in the argument
and see what ensues. Perhaps their success in creating huge
bureaucracies and "government intervention" gave these fields a "bad
name" but cars are safer and less poison abounds, IMHO. "Voting with
your feet" is just as often an excuse for continued sociopathic
behaviour as it is an effective means of effecting significant change.
In a society that still uses "blind" as a pejorative, we shouldn't have
to wait another millenium for people to "get it" and the Web is as
public as the airspace and waterways. Anarchy is a nice idea but at the
moment there is some possibility of using enforcement for education,
distasteful as the prospect may be. "Market forces" totally unregulated
by "government (of the people) interference" might very well be a better
choice when those in charge think deaf people are stupid and people in
wheel chairs are "confined" to them. While "educating" everyone
otherwise is all well and good, unless you must go stand in the corner
when you're "bad", you will keep on throwing spitballs when the
teacher's back is turned.

As to the "Enforcement *can't* work - my philosophical disagreement with
it is moot": without "enforcement" we'd still have a society in which
women and people of color couldn't vote and gay men would have to
pretend they were entirely butch. 

Even if I can't expect the protocols for posting stuff on the Web don't
ever get to the point where they preclude inaccessible materials'
inclusion, I can sure "vote with my vote" to get people in place who
make it likelier. And, yes, this will include *some* "government
interference" because WE are the government.

Received on Thursday, 8 June 2000 10:22:03 UTC

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