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

Re: Flickr and alt

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:47:17 -0400
Message-ID: <EEC8D4A347C0478383AE2923BCA44F97@HANDS>
To: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>

so I don't have the right to access the web?  does accessibility do actual 
harm?  aren't we doing harm when we force people to speak/write a language 
just because of where they happen to be?  Yes, there are fringe and extreme 
cases, but there are also fundamental building blocks reaching for a higher 
society and the further we evolve, the more building blocks we find and the 
more resistance to those building blocks we find.  There have been times 
when exclusion was done on the basis of what your gender or ethnicity were. 
do we still uphold this?

i fear we veer though.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
To: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>; <public-html@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: Flickr and alt

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 17:48:00 UTC

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