Re: Simplicity of Authoring and Accessibility Tools

David Poehlman wrote:

> see comments in line below.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lakespur Roca" <>
> To: <>
> Cc: "WAI Interest Group (E-mail)" <>
> Sent: Friday, January 19, 2001 12:46 PM
> Subject: Re: Simplicity of Authoring and Accessibility Tools
> Something we should all remember here is that the Web is not just
> liberating for the disabled but for the masses. Ann, you should
> not only be commended for your bravery in supporting the general
> user but for putting up with the insensitivity of some on this
> list.  Yes the majority of people misunderstand the medium and
> they will continue to misunderstand it, associating it with things
> like print, that they are familiar with. Strangely, print is what
> Xerox and Apple based some of their first wisiwig interfaces on
> that made the computer so ubiquitous and usable for so many
> people. And again print in part by this same use of metaphor lead
> the way to making the web so valuable as a communication tool.
> dp: It could as easily have gone another way had they not wedded
> it to print and the web for me was becoming quite useable before
> the invasion of the gui concept.

Yes, it could have easily have gone in another direction than print but 
not just any direction. It had to have resonance and meaning for the 
users. And though the web was becoming quite usable for you there were 
millions of people who found it daunting, intimidating and unusable for 
daily tasks. Pre GUI the web/internet was a play ground for academics 
and computer enthusiasts rather than Joe the real-estate agent, or 
Martha the product manager.

>  Yes there is lots of room for improvement but we should be wary
> of the one step forward two steps back possibility.
> Changing the tools to create proper HTML and making Style sheets
> work in wisiwig editors will be much easier than changing the
> majority of people.
> dp: "if you build it, They will come!"  Aren't you likely to
> change the people if you change the tools?  those who resist the
> changes needed now will still resist the changes and so will not
> use the tools if they can doge them. 

If this were true not one would be using the computer. Resistance is not inflexibility nor is change necessarily progress. Change the tools in a way that is counter productive and you get the effect you described. i.e. using a metaphor of the internal combustion engine for a main stream computer application. Most people don't know how it works and though they drive a car, most don't care to know how internal combustion works. 

>   Web page authoring and browsing should be achievable by every
> one even my 5 year old  and I would not expect him to understand
> HTML or it's philosophy to create a web page of art and comments
> on his favorite things for his class mates and family. As Ann
> pointed out the web is becoming a great education tool for schools
> and the younger grades are still learning to read should we expect
> them to know html and the philosophy behind it to achieve
> something accessible. I don't think so. I do however agree that
> HTML is not very difficult to learn neither is reading or
> multiplication tables yet some still struggle with it.
> dp: and some still struggle with driving. I don't think anyone is
> advocating that access be denied.  I do think however that a lot
> of early intervention is needed.
> I know no beast exists yet. But that doesn't mean you can't work
> toward the goal with diligence.
> Charles it rather sounds like you feel that this is wrong. I don't
> really think that you mean that only people who understand should
> be allowed to use this medium. Some learning disabilities make it
> very difficult to comprehend abstract concepts I don't think they
> should not be allowed to publish a web page. Please clarify.
> Anne Pemberton wrote:
> Charles, Some counties may indeed have the structure you prefer in
> place. Ourtaxes are very low, so people end up wearing two or more
> hats. We use whatwe have available. But, I suspect you will be
> equally horrified to learn that the state ofVirginia has as one of
> its instructional standards (for technology) that byeighth grade
> each Virginia student will have created their own web page. AnneAt
> 08:32 PM 1/18/01 -0800, Charles F. Munat wrote:I'm especially
> horrified to learn that the county where Anne works letspretty
> much *anyone* post to their official site. I think that there is
> amisunderstanding among many laypersons that the Internet is kind
> of like akiosk. You just post any old notice on it.

Received on Friday, 19 January 2001 15:21:15 UTC