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Re: Accessible does not imply usable (was International Web Access Guidelines "Ineffective", PhD thesis Claims)

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2013 12:45:08 -0500
Cc: Ian Sharpe <themanxsharpy@gmail.com>, "'Jorge Fernandes'" <jorge.f@netcabo.pt>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <C2021A6B-95E4-4AED-8A5B-FCC18F80A40E@trace.wisc.edu>
To: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
I agree

accessibility does need usability

in many ways our definition of 'accessibility standards'  are rooted in anti-discrimination.   So denying usability to everyone is not illegal or against policy.   But doing things that only remove usability for people with disabilities is.      Hence the accessibility standards  (which might be enforced) are limited to only those parts of usability that are discriminatory if left undone.   --  or those aspect that only or disproportionately affect usability by people with disabilities.     Hence both general usability (usability aspects shared by all ) and accessibility standards ( those aspects that only or disproportionately affect usability by people with disabilities)  are needed by people with disabilities overall. 

Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
Technical Director - Cloud4all Project - http://Cloud4all.info
Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International - http://Raisingthefloor.org
and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project -  http://GPII.net

On Jun 2, 2013, at 4:15 AM, David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk> wrote:

> Ian Sharpe wrote:
>> this distinction by adding that accessibility does not imply usability 
> There is something wrong with the standards if that is not the case. I would have said that usability was a pre-requisite for accessibility.   For example, if it is difficult to understand how to use a site, you are probably making it inaccessible to people with cognitive disabilities.
>> and that when we talk about inclusive design or universal design we should be aiming to achieve usability, not just accessibility.
>> While for the most part it is true that compliance to WCAG is likely to mitigate the potential risk of litigation under antidiscrimination legislation and result in a more usable site or service than a site or
> This is one of the big problems now.  Accessibility compliance is just another compliance chore that has to be done to the  minimum level needed to avoid prosecution.
>> service which does not conform to WCAG, it is absolutely not the case that the site or service will be "usable".
>> The problem is that it is harder to test usability and as far as I'm aware, the process cannot be automated.
> I don't think accessibility can be reduced to machine checkable rules either.
> -- 
> David Woolley
> Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
> RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
> that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.

Received on Sunday, 2 June 2013 17:46:02 UTC

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