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Real cost of accessibility (re ethics and money)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 18:59:58 -0600 (CST)
Message-ID: <56715.>
To: "Access Systems" <accessys@smart.net>
Cc: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@sidar.org>, "Andy Heath" <a.k.heath@shu.ac.uk>, "John Colby" <john.colby@uce.ac.uk>, "David Woolley" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The topic of fullly costed accessibility stuff came up at Ozewai - I think
it was Jacqui begbie from the federal government who was looking for the

As well as showing that it is cost effective in the long run, it is
important (according to this argument) to have some clear ideas of the
costs involved in making various kinds of changes - what does it cost, and
save, on average,
 - to collect and implement "alt text" for a 10,000 page site?
 - a 100 page gallery site? Static vs database driven?
 - to replace a javascrfipt-reliant 4-step purchase system with one that
is server-bascked?
 - to convert 10,000 pages of operating instructions?

The difficulties are that costing this accurately is in itself expensive,
and at least in Australia such information tends to be treated as
"commercial in confidence" by reflex.

But I do hope some becomes available.



Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org

<quote who="Access Systems">
> On Fri, 24 Dec 2004, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

>> A fully costed analysis of accessibility (cost to implement, savings
>> made, new revenue generated) is an extremely rare beast, and I have never
>> seen one that is public. The closest we get are some statements about
>> some costs or benefits of some project or other.
> in my real life I am a transportation engineer. some years ago I did a
> cost/benefit analysis of mainline accessible transit vs paratransit
> service.  I proved in court that the mainline transit was very cost
> effective.   the only error I made in the long run was many of my
> projections were too conservative.  New York City saves over $30,000.00 a
> day by using lift buses vs paratransit vans, these are real numbers and
> they are valid, and so is the 12million a year that they have they
> wouldn't have.
>> So long as this is the case, those who argue (based on no real strong
>> evidence) that accessibility costs a great deal can keep doing so in the
>> face of general statements that it doesn't cost much, which are not
>> themselves supported by the sort of evidence that scientists (even
>> social scientists) would be keen to accept - let alone the kind of
>> evidence that accountants tend to demand.
> so someone who really knows the issue should put it together. I only use
> the web accessiblity don't know too much about the costing of it.
Received on Tuesday, 28 December 2004 01:09:01 UTC

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