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Re: apology on "alt" tags

From: Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 21:48:52 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 02:01 PM 9/26/00 -0700, you wrote:

>The "you" is me, so I'll respond:
> >>Hold on, a sec, I don't think the Olympic site was being _malicious_.
> >>Let's not attribute to malice what is clearly ignorance or
> >>laziness.
> >I hardly think you can call the accessibility problems with the Olympics 
> site the result of laziness or ignorance.
>So you're saying it was a result of _malice_?  That's such a
>bizarre claim that I can't even fathom why you'd want to promote
>such a view.
Why is the claim so "bizarre?"  At every turn when the Sydney Organizing 
Committee was made aware of accessibility issues with the Olympics they did 
all they could to fight the issues.

Most recently they argued that it would take two million and a year to 
correct the problems with the site.  I find that claim a bit hard to believe.

Given the track record of poor accessibility, don't you think it would have 
been prudent to investigate accessibility as a main component of the 
Olympic web site as I'm sure other criteria were investigated and demanded 
to be working?  Failure to do this and running from the issue at every 
opportunity demonstrates malice to me.

> >The people behind the site clearly know about web accessibility as parts 
> of the site are very accessible.
>I'm wondering if you have ever worked on a major web project or
>a major software project.  It is _very typical_ to have varying
>degrees of quality from section to section, as different work
>groups will work on different sections.  It is naive to assume
>that the entire web site was assembled by the same group of
>people working on the whole thing!
>Clearly some were aware of accessibility issues, and some not.
>Those who were not are the ignorant and/or lazy ones, and they
>generated the accessibility errors.  Which is what I said.

Someone signed off on this web site as a complete project.  I don't care if 
one or one thousand people did the actual coding.  The point is that 
someone was responsible from the top and that person should have ensured 
accessibility was met.


I don't know what you define as major but I have been involved in software 
and web development projects.  My experience has been that when the people 
at the top say that accessibility matters and must be satisfied, the 
technical folks find excellent and creative ways to get it done.  When 
accessibility isn't viewed as a priority from the top down, accessibility 
doesn't get addressed.

I also have 33 years, roughly 23 of them that I'd call being aware of the 
full world around me, living as someone who's blind.  I have numerous 
examples of how attitude about disability directly impacts inclusion or 
exclusion.  You may choose to label me as naive and that's certainly your 
right.  It isn't a belief I hold about myself though.


Personally I respect your skills and efforts toward web accessibility.  I 
believe you've done many things to assist in making the web world more 
accessible for people such as myself.


But I think that there's this belief out there that if you just educate 
people web accessibility will happen.  It is going to take more than just 
education.  You can't tell me that the people responsible for this web site 
at some levels didn't know about accessibility.  I'm not willing to dismiss 
the problems associated with the site to mere laziness or 
ignorance.  Accessibility was not a new topic to the Sydney folks or IBM.

>I think that such accusations are unfair to the web designers and
>are amazingly misguided as they assume a malice -- "willfully
>excluding people" -- which has not been proven.
>It's one thing to criticize people for doing it wrong.  It's
>another thing to fabricate stories in which they are beings
>of pure evil vileness out to destroy all that is good about
>the world just because they screwed up on a web site.

Please don't do what you accuse me of doing.  I never said they were out to 
ruin all that's good in the world.


I'm not willing to dismiss the accessibility problems as just a harmless 
screw up though.  We'll likely have to agree to disagree on this.

Received on Wednesday, 27 September 2000 00:30:33 UTC

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