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RE: Accessibility and safety-critical software

From: John Colby <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 12:01:41 +0100
Message-ID: <294B4B3243E76C4BA4FF7F54003B3BE101537DEA@exchangea.staff.uce.ac.uk>
To: "Myhill, Carl S \(GE Energy\)" <carl.myhill@ps.ge.com>, "W3C WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

In the UK the main legislation about accessibility of software is the
DDA and SENDA - which says that reasonable adjustments be made. However
there are higher Acts that could prevent reasonable adjustments being
made if it adversely affects the operation of systems  - Health and
Safety being one.

If the employment of people in industries is such that no reasonable
adjustment needs to be made as in the examples below then is
accessibility an issue?

John Colby 
Lecturer, Department of Computing
Room F328a, Feeney Building, University of Central England,
Franchise Street, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Myhill, Carl S (GE Energy)
Sent: 15 April 2005 12:00
Subject: Accessibility and safety-critical software

Hi All,

Firstly, please forgive my ignorance on this topic, which I'm not even
how to ask about.

Personally, I think accessibility should be a primary consideration in
software design, particularly on the web. So, legislation moving us in
direction has my vote. I work hard to make my own website accessible
it's not actually that hard, just a bit of learning needed).

However, is there a category of software which has some kind of
from accessibility legislation? For example, I would asssume that an air
traffic control system would not need to be made accessible. Is that
correct? Can anyone point me to regulations on such things? Or provide
other kind of insight?

I once met someone who designed control systems for nuclear power
(nothing to do with my current employer!). I was surprised she used red
green in the UI to indicate state. With 10% of men being colour blind
is not something I would have expected. But she told me people working
were not able to be colour blind, staff selection precluded it. The same
things happen in other jobs I think, fighter pilots are selected as
with great eyesight; snipers are selected on the basis of them BEING
blind (apparently).

Anyhow, so what is the deal with software like this which perhaps doesnt
make sense to be made accessible to all?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide on this.

Received on Friday, 15 April 2005 11:01:45 UTC

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