Re:'s review of RNIB relaunch

Hi Tina,

Firstly, I realise Ian can stick up for himself, but I believe his comments
were along the same theme as mine. That the RNIB could have achieved much
more, and should have considering their market is not only blind users.

Now I will address in a civil manner accusations levelled at Made For All's
comments. XHTML does contain much inherent accessibility.  The very first
thing standards based development addresses is the issue of making our
documents available to the largest number of web users regardless of the
client software they use. Accessibility may I remind you is far from just an
issue of physical disability.

I would be willing to wager that on the vast majority of occasions where a
developer chose not to worry about accessibility but conform only to XHTML,
her document would be far more accessible that someone who took neither into
consideration. Good standards based development takes into account good
structure, which is as important as alt attributes and table summaries, or any
other accessibility feature you may wish to build into your web content. XHTML
also makes alternatives obligatory for objects, frames, scripts, applets, etc.

XHTML does contain inherent benefits to accessibility.

As for the style sheet that doesn't exist on Made For All, we will look into
this. Naturally, I have heard of not one case where this has realistically
affected the user experience or the accessibility of the site.


Tim Roberts.
Editor: Made For All.

On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 14:53:28 +0200 (CEST), tina wrote
> On 25 Jun, Lauke   PH wrote:
> > Many of you may already have read this (or similar) reports,
> > but nevertheless...
> >
>   I hadn't noticed - but I've read Accessify's comments now and find
>   that whilst I agree with some of them, *my* initial reaction is 
> one of  resignation.
>   Whilst the RNIB could, clearly, have gone much further in their 
> work  to get a more accessible *for all* website, they have a fairly 
> narrow  focus, and probably bad consultants.
>   However, Mr. Ian Lloyd is going too far when he claim that they 
> have  committed crimes by using a table-based layout. Them's spitin' 
> words  indeed and sent me taking a good, close, look at the critique.
>   Accessify, who my mailclient informs me can be reached at 
>, also expresses a certain
>   degree of sadness because the RNIB site is not graphically 
> pleasing to  him. Personally I find it quite cute, and fail to see 
> what matters of  personal taste has to do with accessibility.
>   It would be pointless to argue such details as why he believes a h2
>   without a h1 to be "structurally incorrect" (as opposed, I hope, to
>   "structurally invalid" - which it isn't), or why Mr. Tim Roberts seem
>   to think that there are inherent accessibility benefits to using XHTML
>   (I've not seen any yet).
>   Following the debate on Accessify and other sites reveal a stunning
>   degree of interest in validation. For the purpose of ying and yang 
> I  therefore point the honourable readers to line 51 in  
> as well as lines 8, 11 
> and  12 in
>   Lines 186 and 247 of might also
>   be interesting.
>   That tries to import CSS files which doesn't exist
>   raises my trust in them. Could this be because, as the CSS spec states
>   quite clearly: "For CSS style sheets, the base URI is that of the
>   style sheet, not that of the source document." - and this doesn't
>   change because of a BASE HREF set ?
>   A fascinating debate. To quote GuyWeb
>   (
>    "Yet another site to give UK webdesign a bad name."
>   (Oh, btw, could anyone tell me why the above can't be validated by 
> the   CSS validator ? It gives me odd messages such as "Validate 
> your XML   first".)
>   Tell me again why validation is important ?
> > A shame really,
>   A shame indeed. There is no reason what so ever why the RNIB should
>   not have used a HTML 4.01 Strict and CSS 2 design.
>   There is alot of people screaming bloody murder over this whilst
>   shuffling a variety of recently used blunt instruments under the
>   carpet and into the closet.
>   To the RNIB, to Accessify, to GuyWeb, to Simon Willison: DO try to
>   sweep your own before going out to sweep others.
>   This is a bloody disappointing mess all around.
> -- 
>  -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
>    [+46] 0708 557 905

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Received on Wednesday, 25 June 2003 09:33:08 UTC