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RE: internet usage by people over 60

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 08:29:28 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF6449AEA3.8084B7CC-ON86257846.004D11CD-86257846.004F9B4E@us.ibm.com>
I think this is a delicate subject and has to be conveyed appropriately. 
Often messages view from different perspectives can be viewed as opposing 
or even "hijacking" an agenda. 

I believe there is a spectrum (or continuim?) of needs and benefits. 

At one end are those of us who MUST have, and have a RIGHT to have access 
and accommodations, then there are those of us that NEED to have access 
and accommodations,  and then there are those of us that benefit and 
prefer to have access and accommodations. 

We have experiences and example of addressing access and accommodations 
from both ends of the spectrum.  Different motivators motivate all of us 
differently.  From the physical world we have sidewalk curb cuts that came 
from the civil rights movement by persons who used wheel chairs but the 
curb cut solution ended up benefitting many other users such as baby 
carriages, luggage with rollers, etc.  What motivated some of us then may 
be different than what motivates some of us now.  From the telecom world 
we now have camera facing smart phone and broad band capable of doing 
video calls for everyone (that can afford it), but which can be utilized 
by persons who communicate by video sign language.  The "journey" to 
achieve either was not always smooth and pleasant depending on your 
viewpoint.  Accessibility rights and advocacy seems to drive from one end, 
while innovation and business (profits?) seem to drive from the other end. 
 Solutions that are driven from advocacy that do not end up benefiting all 
and do not prove sustainable will in the end be unsuccessful.  Solutions 
driven from a pure business perspective that don't include the needs of 
those that MUST be met will in the end not be sustainable or as successful 

I believe our goal is to be aware of both approaches and hopefully know 
where we are in the spectrum so that we can all leverage our collective 
approaches to benefit all sooner. 

Phill Jenkins, 
IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center



From:   "Lucica Ibanescu" <lucica.ibanescu@gmail.com>
To:     <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date:   03/01/2011 07:43 AM
Subject:        RE: internet usage by people over 60
Sent by:        w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org

Hi Roger and everyone, I am not an elder (barely over 30, no vision 
problems) and I also enlarge text on webpages (sometimes) or zoom them 
completely - so John, you shouldn't be upset on Roger touching this 
subject - the more you know your visitors and what problems they encounter 
to more you can build better websites. And building them with elders in 
mind will definitely help a lot more - like me or my friends who need to 
increase text too or are bothered by poor usability, contrast or IA. 

From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On 
Behalf Of Roger Hudson
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 11:04 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: internet usage by people over 60

Apologies to anyone who might have been offended by the title of my paper. 

I am over the age of 60, and I am doing the research with another “oldie” 
who is now retired after working in IT most of his life. We now spend a 
fair bit of time working with other older/senior/mature/elderly people 
helping them use the internet. I most certainly don’t assume people over 
60 don’t know how to use ICT, but also, just because we have been using 
computers and the internet for several decades, I don’t think we can 
assume everyone else uses these technologies in the same way or even knows 
how to use them.  For example, one of the issues we have been exploring in 
our more recent interviews is the question of whether or not a person 
knows how to increase the size of text on web pages, and most of the 
respondents don’t appear to know how to do this. In an earlier post I 
wrote about how one of the interviewees prints out a web page and then 
enlarges it on a photocopy when faced with text on a site which he has to 
read, but which is too small for him. Several other respondents when faced 
with the same problem have told me that they copy and paste the text into 
a Word document and then enlarge it.

From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On 
Behalf Of John Colby
Sent: Tuesday, 1 March 2011 8:24 PM
To: Roger Hudson; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: internet usage by people over 60
Some of us elderly (born 1950) have been using the web and writing web 
pages since 1993, since the web came into being publicly in the UK, 
introducing web usage into companies where we have worked, and now are in 
change of web teaching for Faculties and Universities and lead on web 
I am not alone.
The title of your paper would encourage me not to read it.
John Colby BA PGCE
Senior Lecturer, Business Skills Enhancement, Department of Accountancy 
and Finance
Room F100, Feeney Building, Birmingham City University,
City North Campus, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU
T: +44 (0) 121 331 6937 M: 07872 559800
Blog http://johncolby.wordpress.com/ 
Tweeting at http://twitter.com/JohnColby and 

From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org on behalf of Roger Hudson
Sent: Tue 01/03/2011 09:02
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: internet usage by people over 60
For those who might be interested I have posted the results of the recent 
online survey about how and why people over the age of sixty use the 
Internet and mobile (cell) phones. 

I will be discussing the results of this research in a paper, “Improving 
Web Accessibility for the Elderly“, which I am presenting at CSUN 2011 on 
March 16. 
 The paper will also outline some of the issues older web users have with 
font size and colour, and canvass various options for how they might be 
Roger Hudson
Web Usability
Ph: 02 9568 1535
Mb: 0405 320 014
Email: rhudson@usability.com.au
Web: www.usability.com.au 
Blog: www.dingoaccess.com 

Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 14:30:09 UTC

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