Re: Simplicity of Authoring and Accessibility Tools

At 8:22 AM -0500 1/19/01, David Poehlman wrote:
>I've got a simple solution to this.  We put a parser on every
>server that serves up web pages to the public such that when a
>user asks for an inaccessible web page, that pages author is
>notified that the page is inaccessible acording to some predefined
>guidelines and  the page is blocked from further access by all
>servers to the public till the problems with it have been proven
>to be fixed.  Tyrany?  Brutal?  Mayhaps but there would be ways to
>opt out.

That's somewhat interesting -- although I'm not sure how you would
define "inaccessible" in this case, and why you would want to block
the page from all use.  That, to me, is decreasing the ability of
people to access the page, not increasing it.

In other words, let's take two users, one is blind (can't see a
thing) and one is deaf (can't hear a thing).  They both go to a very
graphical web page, which doesn't have alt text on it.  The blind
user can't figure it out at all, while the deaf user -can- use it
decently enough.

So our software figures out that the page is inaccessible (missing
alt is a dead giveaway that Bobby and other automated tools can
catch), and starts blocking the page.  Now neither blind user nor
the deaf user can access the page.  Nor can the user who is neither
deaf nor blind.

In other words, this supposed aid for accessibility has reduced the
ability of an identifiable group of users with disabilities to
accessing the content, as well as reducing access for users without

So I would not consider this a step forward, but rather a step
backwards.  This is why there is a problem with making "accessibility"
an all-or-nothing proposition instead of one based on the specific

However, without the "blocking the page" factor, the idea of a web
site where you can register accessibility problems has appeal.  Isn't
there (or wasn't there) such a page on the W3C's site?

Kynn Bartlett <>

Received on Friday, 19 January 2001 11:56:18 UTC