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Re: Accessibility for all?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 13:24:53 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "SHARPE, Ian" <Ian.SHARPE@cambridge.sema.slb.com>, "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

At 04:41 AM 2002-08-12, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

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

The basic fact that you cannot make your web offering usable by 100% of
everyone is just true.

On the other hand, for the kind of system you are contemplating, there are
things to consider that will make a big difference in who can and cannot use
the result.

The fact that some of us think you can reach more of everyone with
pattern-generated alternative forms from the servers is partly why the
openness to "server-side diversity" is still in WCAG 2.0.  And in your
situation where you are joining information services from multiple backends,
there is cause to question why you cannot support multiple frontends as well.


You have the uncomfortable opportunity to lead the charge _for_ information
integration across the services coming from the multiple backends and
_against_ creating a system of plumbing stovepipes for inaccessible media
channels pasted together in the pixel domain.


If you design the voice interface to each backend service first, you may be
surprised at how easy and how adaptive the fleximode composite actually is.



At 04:41 AM 2002-08-12, SHARPE, Ian wrote:

>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 13:25:24 UTC

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