W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Flickr and alt

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:31:31 -0400
Message-ID: <48A9B1F3.2040906@mit.edu>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
CC: W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

David Poehlman wrote:
> accessibility is right not privilige.

There is no absolute "right".  Your natural rights stop where they start 
infringing on mine.  Where the balance of infringement ends up happening 
is up to society (including you and me) to decide and enforce at 
gunpoint (like any other legislation).

One simple way to solve the accessibility issue on the web is to require 
all publication on the web to happen through the New York Times, which 
will then be tasked with ensuring that all its content is accessible. 
This is clearly not acceptable, right?  Why is forcing people to do 
other things, which from their point of view may well be identical, 
considered acceptable?

In general, placing prior restraint of any sort on public expression is 
not considered a good thing.  I'm not sure why you think the particular 
prior restraint of "you can't say anything in public unless you make it 
accessible" is an exception.

As a simple example, should sign-language interpreters be required by 
law for someone who wants to stand up on a park bench and give a short 
spiel about the decadence of the current political system?  What about 
for someone who wants to stand in front of the White House and shout 
protest slogans?  If not, why not, and how do you reconcile this 
position with the blanket statement you make above?  If yes, do you 
actually expect people to agree with you?


P.S.  The world actually has shades of gray in it.  It's odd how so many 
people, even of the sighted variety, can't accept that.
Received on Monday, 18 August 2008 17:32:19 UTC

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