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Re: A joint seminar with the usability community and the blind community

From: Larry G. Hull <Larry.G.Hull@gsfc.nasa.gov>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 11:45:30 -0400
Message-Id: <p05100306b9b4de56b85f@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


As a usability (early) and accessibility (later) person, I like this 
idea of a joint seminar. I keep running across instances where a new 
facet of a disability surprises me, whether that disability is sight, 
hearing, or mobility.

You are correct that it works both ways. I've found people with (and 
for that matter without) disabilities often are not aware of 
usability research and developments that could benefit them. People 
doing usability research and development may not fully consider the 
impact on and potential benefits (perhaps with only a bit of 
tweaking) for people with disabilities.

I perhaps should mention that I've seen a few usability efforts that 
despite the best of intentions were less than fully beneficial due to 
misapprehension on the part of the usability developers and the 
absence of input from people, particularly people with disabilities. 
No, I don't want to point fingers. Yes, most developers are aware of 
the (general) problem and do include users in their projects -- at 
least when it comes to testing.

I regret I would not be able to attend the proposed seminar. I hope 
the event happens as it could be very beneficial. I would like to see 
the lessons learned be made widely available.


>As usability professionals have become involved with the 508 issues in the
>US, they are beginning to realize how much about the blind community they
>are unaware of.  Similarly, there is much about the usability community
>that blind world is unaware of.  A few people in each of these communities
>are considering a day long joint seminar in the bay area where each of these
>communities can learn about the other.  Some of the questions that have come
>up are:
>     1.  What can the usability community learn from the blind community?
>     2.  What can the blind community learn from the usability community?
>     3.  What else should be included in the seminar to the benefit of
>         both communities?
>Any suggestions for answers?
>Thanks very much,
>PS  If you might be interested in this type of seminar, could you please
>send me a note directly?
Received on Monday, 23 September 2002 11:45:36 UTC

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