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

Thanks Kate,

We seem to have come back to Steve's original point.

Though I note the link is not to a W3C source.

(Apologies if I've muffed it).


I firmly believe we have to focus on W3C/WAI, but none of that is simple


In fact, I believe the "accessibility movement" couldn't organise a "*" om a
"*" at the moment.


WAI are in transition (with WCAG2.0) 

And the

International Association for Accessibility Professionals

Has arisen as a rival (or supporter?).


No wonder no one realy know's what's going on, yet alone the definition of


VVV best,






From: Kate Perkins [] 
Sent: 12 February 2015 18:50
To: Steve Faulkner
Cc: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: the official definition [of web accessibility] from the W3C is


Hi Steve, I have read your comment and all of the follow up comments, and I
think that this it is vital to continue this conversation.

I am an unofficial accessibility advocate at a Huge, a digital agency.  I've
spent the past year talking to different people and departments in my
company about accessibility practices to make it a part of our baseline
offering for web development, not an "extra."  One of the results of this
process was that we decided to "re-brand" accessibility within our agency,
as that word carries some weight and preconceived notions.  For project
managers, it sounds expensive and like it might dip into the bottom line.
For Developers, it sounds like difficult and thankless work that will keep
you working late night.  For business owners, it sounds like a distraction
from more important business goals like SEO optimization and building the
next big feature.

The key takeaway here is that was wasn't an "us" against "them"
conversation.  The main thing people think about it "how does this affect

So I presented a "re-branding accessibility" presentation that was well
received, and drove home a new definition of accessibility.  Our definition:
"Disability is the deficit between user and system capability.  Is it the
responsibility of the system, not the user, to bridge that deficit."  Huge
is known for it's user experience work, so this hit home for everyone.  This
may not always be the right definition; it may depend on the audience.  But
for us, this reset the conversation about accessibility and removed existing
negative assumptions from the conversation.

Food for thought.  Because of this experience, I have to disagree with Phil.
For a conversation about accessibility to affect change, you have to
position it as a tool to achieve the goals that your audience already has.

- Kate Perkins Horowitz

Kate Perkins Horowitz / Business Analyst
T. 718 880 3805 /


On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 3:17 AM, Steve Faulkner <>

discussion starter:

"We need to change the way we talk about accessibility. Most people are
taught that "web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use
the Web"- the official definition from the W3C. This is wrong. Web
accessibility means that people can use the web."

source: Reframing Accessibility for the Web







Received on Thursday, 12 February 2015 19:27:40 UTC