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RE: Accessible _By_

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 17:10:40 -0800
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601c081b4$a47d5ef0$0100a8c0@aries>
I agree that relating any kind of injustice to real people instead of to
abstract ideals is a better idea. But just to reiterate - as Kynn
acknowledges - that was not what I was referring to. Adding in the unspoken
part, what I said was "accessible to my friends and me (without regard for
anyone else)." My point was that if we redefine valid to mean valid only in
the context of our own needs or wants, we have no grounds for complaint when
others redefine accessibility in the same manner.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kynn Bartlett [mailto:kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2001 12:29 PM
To: Charles F. Munat
Cc: 'Anne Pemberton'; 'Bailey, Bruce'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Accessible _By_

I'm using Charles' words to launch off on a tangent, not to
directly disagree with anything he's said:

At 07:41 PM 1/17/2001 , Charles F. Munat wrote:
>If we're going to start redefining words, why not redefine accessibility to
>mean "accessible to my friends and me"?

Actually, that's not a half bad idea, because it puts the person
back in accessibility.  Saying "accessible" without saying -to
whom- something is accessible is like saying something is "nearby".

I'd rather see definitions of accessibility which state "this can
be used by identifiable groups of people" than definitions which
equate accessibility with "meeting a published DTD."  E.g., "this
page is accessible _by_ people who can't see" retains the people
aspect better than "this page is accessible, because it follows
the XHTML 1.0 specification."

There's no such thing as absolute accessibility -- the only way
to reasonably speak of accessibility is to say who can access
given content or functionality.  It doesn't matter if your validator
or Bobby button insistently _tells_ me something is accessible;
if I _can't_ access it, then it is inaccessible by me, flat out,
full stop.

This is one of my pet peeves, people who speak of accessibility in
a vacuum or in terms of XML specs or whatever.  Let's not lose
sight of the human element here.


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Relations, Reef           http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Contributor, Special Ed. Using XHTML     http://kynn.com/+seuxhtml
Unofficial Section 508 Checklist       http://kynn.com/+section508
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 22:12:49 UTC

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