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Re: the official definition [of web accessibility] from the W3C is wrong

From: <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 10:43:37 -0500 (EST)
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.10.1502061031550.4079@suberic.net>
On Fri, 6 Feb 2015, Phill Jenkins wrote:

> I have too many stories and history of where something that was initially accessible got "broken" when it went 'main-stream' (a.k.a. for
> everyone).

I agree with this completely, although it goes both ways. On the
one hand, the mainstreaming of voice control has meant that there
are far more tools that I can use in the world. Able-bodied
people mock Siri's imperfections, but Siri lets me use a smart
phone at times when I wouldn't be able to use one had voice
control knock on mainstream.

On the other hand, as you say, Phill, mainstream voice control is
nothing like so handsfree as old-school voice control was. Nuance
has flat out stopped developing new functionality for the handsfree
market, although to give them credit they haven't broken any of
the previously existing handsfree-friendly functionality they
already had. (It's also clear from talking to Nuance engineers
that they have no idea people can use NaturallySpeaking so
successfully in handsfree ways.) All the new voice control that
has been developed over the last several years, for mainstream
market, from the built-in OS X, to mobile, to DragonDictate for
Mac, to house control, assumes a certain amount of hand-based
functionality.

So it has pros and cons.

Personally I'm inclined to make sure that disability keeps
getting stressed in accessibility conversations, if for no other
reason than Nothing About Us Without Us. I have had way too many
conversations with web developers who insist that key bindings on
websites are an accessibility thing, where what they mean are
"they are usability thing that makes the website easier for me,
the developer." It becomes very difficult once they get in that
mindset  to talk about how key bindings CAN be an accessibility
thing, but if they are implemented carefully in conjunction with
people who use or  understand adaptive technology, they can make
the accessibility of websites far, far worse.

Deborah Kaplan
Received on Friday, 6 February 2015 15:44:08 UTC

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