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Re: Commercial Realities and Accessibility (was: Are Small Text butto ns level 2 compliant)

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 11:09:15 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>, "'WAI'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 06:40 PM 9/26/00 +0100, Dave  J Woolley wrote:
>I find the person
>         on this list with the signature that says accessibility
>         is a right is being totally commercially naive.

That's me, Bro. Naive. However, the bill hasn't been presented yet for the 
current transgressions. The legal advice that Dow and Philip Morris had in 
the 30s came back to haunt them when the payouts almost bankrupted the 
former and are a huge nudge on the latter. IBM will experience similar 
problems if they continue failing to heed that "naive" signature when such 
things as the Bruce Maguire matter evolve further. Programmers are cheaper 
than lawyers and the SOCOG spent more on legal "expertise" in 
cross-examining Jutta than would have been spent making the Olympics site 

The "business case" is not a simplistic "last 20%" of the potential 
clients' issue. The probability of an "accessibility impact study" similar 
to the "environmental impact study" that was almost surely the result of a 
book by Rachel Carson about 60 years ago is very real and to pretend that 
there is some "market force" that isn't made entirely possible only because 
of "rule of law" issues is what's really "naive".

I have been watching the world for a very long time and I'm more amused 
than offended by the notion that I'm "totally commerciallly naive" simply 
because my objectivity is still with me. The objections to providing 
accessibility are based almost entirely on bigotry and fear of disabilities 
(which are inevitable for all of us), not on pragmatics. Most of the 
mainstream culture wants to retain blind folks as pity objects and it shows.

Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 14:10:49 UTC

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