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

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2013 21:15:56 -0400
Message-ID: <6e0fff6d39dce576582d2f435e190a1d@mail.gmail.com>
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Cc: Ian Sharpe <themanxsharpy@gmail.com>, Jorge Fernandes <jorge.f@netcabo.pt>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
[Gregg wrote]

ō  accessibility standards  (which might be enforced) are limited to only
those parts of usability that are discriminatory if left undone.



I agree.  Iíve also seen a potentially concerning trend to link
accessibility for people with disabilities to open data.  Accessibility for
people with disabilities (PWD) and Section 508 requirements center around
providing equivalent access to the information that people without
disabilities have access to.  While open data and accessibility for PWD may
share some common traits Ė they are not the same.  Accessibility for PWD
generally has wide partisan support while open data tends to be more of a
political issue.  Linking the two could potentially cause people to 1)
piggy back on the accessibility to PWD standards for other reasons and
cause others to be against the accessibility for PWD movement.  This isnít
the first time that this type of linkage has occurred.  In 1999 there were
many people who likened accessibility with Y2K and then accessibility was
later packaged with security and then privacy tools.



Jonathan





*From:* Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu]
*Sent:* Sunday, June 02, 2013 1:45 PM
*To:* David Woolley
*Cc:* Ian Sharpe; 'Jorge Fernandes'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
*Subject:* Re: Accessible does not imply usable (was International Web
Access Guidelines "Ineffective", PhD thesis Claims)



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*

--------------------------------------------------------

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 Monday, 3 June 2013 01:17:37 UTC

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