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RE: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a disability

From: Sean Murphy (seanmmur) <seanmmur@cisco.com>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 00:42:30 +0000
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7e441ed6f377464bb1c40c7ab11aca04@XCH-RCD-001.cisco.com>
Phil,

To respond to your questions:



1.      why do we care if the elderly (aged 65+) consider themselves as having a disability or not? Accessibility is not only about disability.


Answer:We shouldn't. Disability/Accessibility is categorising someone and is limiting our thinking and creativity. We all do it without thinking.

        2. why do we care if the mobile device users who experience barriers do not consider themselves as having a disability or not?  Accessibility is not only about disability.


A: Again, we shouldn't care.



If best practises like accessibility is included in core functionality, training of existing and new designers/developers/etc, dev/testing  tools correctly included in all development tools. Then the issue of accessibility would be simplified and easier.

Regards,
Sean Murphy
Cisco Systems - Sydney, Australia
Accessibility Software Engineer
dir: 61 2 8446 7751
http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/accessibility.html

From: Phill Jenkins [mailto:pjenkins@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 25 May 2016 10:24 AM
To: WAI-IG; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a disability

David wrote: ". . . The WAI-AGE project researched the overlap between web accessibility for people with disabilities and web accessibility for older adults, and the literature review has some very useful links (a few years old now).
http://www.w3.org/WAI/WAI-AGE/
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-wai-age-literature-20080514/"

Few years? I round up and call it a "decade old"!
We need more current research, especially in light of the "tech-savvy" aging baby boomers, the advent of the smart phone (June 9, 2008, Apple announced the iPhone 3G<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_3G>), mobile computing, Internet of Things, and now the era of cognitive computing (AI).  A lot has happened in the last decade!

I have a lot of anecdotal data and I hear things like "this may be for the following reasons.", "they may not self identify for", etc. Too many "may's" in the statements, and the "they's" are a decade older now.

Some newer references:
        The Cheapest Generation
        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/the-cheapest-generation/309060/

        Administration on Aging (AoA)
        People 65+ represented 14.1% of the population in the year 2013 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040.
        http://www.aoa.acl.gov/aging_statistics/index.aspx

        35% of transactions are lost purely on low success rate of online tasks
        looking for reference

So, I'm going to be a little radical (in the context of this thread) and ask a couple questions:
        1. why do we care if the elderly (aged 65+) consider themselves as having a disability or not? Accessibility is not only about disability.
        2. why do we care if the mobile device users who experience barriers do not consider themselves as having a disability or not?  Accessibility is not only about disability.

Fundamentally, accessibility MUST include success criteria that enable persons who self identify as having a disability to be able to use it.  The accessibility industry's job - our job - is to insure the success criteria is correct.  But accessibility enables so much more that we need to lead and drive the larger business justification without abandoning the very persons who cannot be left behind. Unfortunately, disability and compliance focus will only continue to lead to one-off minimal compliance.
___________
Regards,
Phill Jenkins,
Senior Engineer & Business Development Executive
IBM Research - IBM Accessibility
ibm.com/able<http://www.ibm.com/able>
facebook.com/IBMAccessibility<http://www.facebook.com/IBMAccessibility>
twitter.com/IBMAccess<http://twitter.com/IBMAccess>
ageandability.com
Received on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:43:03 UTC

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