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RE: statistics - for differences between accessible and non-acce ssible sites?

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:27:28 -0000
Message-ID: <D1EFBFDCD178C24DA607A306D6E3A7112DBD58@URANUs>
To: "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>, "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear Ian and Group,
I was also not trying to be negative, but more proactive in the accessibility arena. I, too, have unfortunately come across clients who are unaware of their obligations, on occasion legal. Although I have to concede that the legislation in all countries is lacking, I would hope that those of us out there in the world that can influence decision-makers in organisations to ensure that all site developed are, at best, accessible to Priority One standard.

What I really wanted to impart is that all websites that are developed should be accessible, regardless of the wishes of the client, at the very least to that Priority One standard that I spoke of earlier. If this were to happen, clients would expect that every Web project they commissioned is built to those standards, offering quicker download times, better composition of Web pages, etc... the list goes on.

I just thought that the idea of statistics would do more harm than good to accessibility and therefore should not be considered. Those who are waiting on UK hospital lists probably don't take kindly being told that waiting lists are down when they may have been waiting a year or more, in the same way that those with disabilities wouldn't like to be told that the site is not accessible to them because "research has shown that doing so would only bring in a 2% rise in visitors, or a 1.5% rise in revenue."  (No political point made here, just an analogy). As I pointed out earlier, a 2% rise on numbers of 1 million is the same statistically as a 2% rise on hits of 10. Hence, stats are really just a waste as they can be used to express whatever the author wishes them to express and only really apply when numbers are factored in.

Also love the quote.

Kindest regards

Simon White

-----Original Message-----
From: SHARPE, Ian [mailto:Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 15:03
To: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: RE: statistics - for differences between accessible and
non-acce ssible sites?

Simon, couldn't agree more with your sentiment but sadly am not so confident
that legislation will ensure sites are made accessible. As far as I'm aware
only 508 in the US ensure sites/software purchased by US government be
accessible. (That's my understanding anyway, maybe I'm wrong?) Even this
limited legislation isn't even true in the UK. It should be!! And the rest!!

The other big problem we have is simply awareness of accissiblity issues.
Sadly most developers, whether working for small software/web design
companies or the large IT corporates are even aware of accessibility issues.
Even Microsoft who I would give credit for championing our accessibility
cause and at least try to make all there own products accessible. When it
comes to doing work for others however the story is different!! I am
fortunately in a position to influence projects I am involved with to strive
for accessibility and can speak from experience that the people I've worked
with and many more in the company no doubt, are not even aware of the

How we promote or get our message across is perhaps something we need to
look at. I don't believe that much effort need to be spent to improve
accessibility (and indeed could even reduce development time/costs) and
people are willing to adopt this approach. But only when they know it is
actually a problem!!

Didn't mean to sound so negative but I genuinely believe it is the case. But
als completely agree with everything you say Simon!!

Love the quote!! And to support my own personal belief I would also add
Henry Ford's famous quote: "There are lies, more lies and statistics" but
you'll all know that one!!


-----Original Message-----
From: Simon White [mailto:simon.white@jkd.co.uk]
Sent: 11 January 2002 14:28
To: Ken Reader; Pat Byrne; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: statistics - for differences between accessible and
non-accessible sites?

Dear All,
Although numbers may help to make a good business case, I would hope that
the legislative efforts of all governments were enough to make anyone think
twice about building an inaccessible website. However, perhaps it is enough
to think that approximately 15% of the UK population is, in some way or
another, disabled. Not only that, let us also factor in the almost 50% of
the population that does not own a PC of its own (or similar device in which
to access the Internet) and therefore has to rely on slow connections at
public libraries, etc. Then take the spending power of this group (currently
estimated at 40 billion in the UK alone)...

Moreover, making a website accessible to all will surely bring in more
revenue than not doing so. There is a famous quote by Vic Reeves (yes, the
comedian) who said that 88% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Let
us not consider statistics, but consider that accessibility should be one of
the first things considered when building a website, and in many cases is
breaking the law to not do so in many countries around the world.

In turn, there are many other more valid business cases than: How many extra
visitors will we get?

So, to answer the original question: 20% of 1 (or $) is still 20% more
revenue, and receiving 11 hits when you only had ten is 10% more than you
had previously. As you might now see, statistics of this kind can cause more
problems than fix.

If you need more help with putting forward good business cases, please check
out the WAI's own URL on this matter:

Although this might seem like a flame, please do not take it as so. I have
spent a long time putting forward accessiblity to many clients, only for
them to ask for stats that back up my claims. Making a site accessible, in
fact building a site, will only be as successful as the original business
plan that created the start-up. If a client is not happy to make a site
accessible, do it as standard and they will probably never even know the

Simon White

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Reader [mailto:kreader@attaininc.org]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 14:00
To: Pat Byrne; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: statistics - for differences between accessible and
non-accessible sites?

Good Point!  I would like to see numbers like that as well.  

Ken Reader
IT Coordinator
2346 S. Lynhurst Drive
STE 507
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Telephone (317) 486-8808 or (800)528-8246
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-----Original Message-----
From: Pat Byrne [mailto:pat@glasgowwestend.co.uk]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 8:53 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: statistics - for differences between accessible and
non-accessible sites?


Does anyone have any statistics that give a clear indication of the
of making a Website accessible? e.g. an accessible site will have 10%
visitors, or is 20% easier to us, or will generate 10% more revenue.

Is there anything of that nature - that would help make a direct appeal
business clients?


Glasgow West End: Pat's Guide: http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk

Guide to all that's best in Glasgow's West End: What's On, Eating Out,
Shopping, Flat Hunting, Local Characters, Classified Ads., Community
Pinboard, Art for Sale and Free Photographs to download.

ScotConnect: http://www.scotconnect.com

A smooth transition to providing accessible information on the Internet.
Quick to load, accessible Web sites - built with the minimum of fuss.

Jim and Pat Byrne
Tel: +44(0)141 334 1650

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