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Re: verifying accessibility

From: Massey, Nancy <nmassey@postoffice.dca.net>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 15:49:59 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

If I am perceiving the intent of your response incorrectly please let me 
know. But I just can't let this go. I have been working with people with 
disabilities since 1986. I started out doing basic computer training and 
eventually found myself working with people with assistive technology. In 
1995 I worked very hard to make one of the first "accessible" sites when 
there were no guidelines, no support and very little help and have made it 
my life's work.

In the beginning, I reached out through online groups and finally found 
some of the few souls who were trail blazing who helped me in my quest. 
Among them was Curtis Chong who was always gracious as well as technically 

When I read your message to this list I was taken aback. You ripped apart 
my comments without even looking at the page that I was struggling with, 
which I found surprising. You assumed that I wouldn't know the basics, such 
as changing the default font size on my browser and on.

Then you suggest I am using the wrong tools, without even telling me why or 
suggesting what tools may assist me.

I understand that you are internationally known as an expert in this field 
and I applaud your work. But I don't believe that this sort of response 
encourages or assists those of us who are reaching out. If this list is the 
wrong venue for this assistance, please let me know.

Thank you David Poehlman, Dave  J Woolley and Steven McCaffrey for your 
comments. This was the level of feedback I needed and will be of assistance 
to me when I discuss why this page will be useful to visitors, the majority 
of whom will be people with disabilities with my client.

-Nancy Massey

At 11:03 AM 07/18/2000 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At 10:43 AM 7/18/2000 , Massey, Nancy wrote:
> >As I review the page, my first thought is I can't read the links on the 
> left hand side because they are too small. I do not have a disability, 
> but I am myopic.
>Have you increased the default font size in your browser?
> >When I run my mouse over the link hoping that the alt tag text will pop 
> up and help me, nothing happens, which leads me to believe there is no 
> alt text.
>Alt text really is not -supposed- to pop up.  Titles, perhaps, should
>pop up.
> >  But when I view the code, I can see access key information and titles 
> and some heavy coding to make the site accessible. Now I am confused.
>Are you sure that your browser supports "popping up of titles" as
>you wish it to do?
> >I ran it through Bobby and it passed. Then I viewed it using Lynx and I 
> can see the read the left hand links just fine.
>Maybe you're using the wrong tools, then?  It sounds like your browser
>may not be providing you with access to the accessibility-related
> >This is beyond me. What do you all think. Would you consider this site 
> accessible?
>I didn't look at the site; I've only read what you've written here.  That
>said, I think we need to be a little more clear on something.  "Accessible"
>is neither a term that can be used without reference to specific audiences,
>nor a binary term when used alone.
>In other words, something is not "accessible" or "inaccessible" in a
>vacuum.  Accessibility is a continuum -- and accessibility needs to
>refer to the human element.  Accessible to whom?  _More_ accessible
>to whom?
>On nearly any site, you can find something that someone may consider
>inaccessible -- even if you follow all of the W3C's guidelines.  This
>is because there is no such thing as perfect accessibility (or perfect
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                       http://kynn.com/
>Director of Accessibility, Edapta                  http://www.edapta.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>AWARE Center Director                         http://www.awarecenter.org/
>Blueprint for Single-A WCAG Accessibility      http://kynn.com/+blueprint
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2000 15:50:24 UTC

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