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Accessibility for all?

From: SHARPE, Ian <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 09:41:40 +0100
Message-ID: <FA94B04D5981D211B86800A0C9EA2841A34CEC@cames1.sema.co.uk>
To: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi All,

I've been asked to answer a couple of points regarding website accessibility
for some potential business. Social inclusion pleasantly being an imporant
aspect of the development. I found myself starting off initially with the
somewhat unqualified statement:

"It is widely accepted by the accessibility communitee that it is not
currently realistic to sensibly provide a fully accessible solution to this
problem for all social groups at this time". 

The problem being a web portal comprising numerous backend systems which
come together to deliver dynamic content potentially in a variety of formats
and using a variety of media. Even if we reduce the problem to a straight
forward online flight booking system for example I personally don't believe
it is possible to cater for all sensibly at this time? Just taking the
visually impared and learning disabilities alone I feel moves the problem
into potentially two separate solutions with the VI requiring textual
feedback and learning disabilities perhaps more familiar with some kind of
SVG approach? And if people with learning disability happen to come from a
deprived social background then they may not even have access to a suitably
enabled browser. 

I'm not necessarily saying it can't be done, just that it is currently
unrealistic (or perhaps I should use "commerically viable" here!!! and stop
beating around the bush) to expect access for all. 

I'm a little unconfortable saying that really and I'm sure that given enough
time and money even today it would potentially be possible to produce a
fully accessible site. But we hever have enough time or money do we? I just
felt it would be helpful to start off my work with a can't please all of the
people all of the time but... and concentrating on what we can do rather
than adding exceptions to everything I suggest. 

Feedback as ever very much appreciated.


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Received on Monday, 12 August 2002 04:47:21 UTC

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