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

Re: Flickr and alt

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 12:50:17 -0400
Message-ID: <48597C79BCC448CCAB6BA7538C9AC51D@HANDS>
To: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>

Reading is not the same as hearing.  If you don't know how to read, you will 
not be able to listen to a book with any better comprehension than to read. 
Now, You can learn how to read through speech synthesis, print or braille 
etc but you must know how to read in order to read in any modality.

This also answers the question of authoring.  There is guidance and 
capability on authoring for what it is possible to author for at least at 
the moment but till we get direct to brain transfer going, we will 
inevitably run up against a barrier at some point in the quest to fill the 
accessibility needs of all under some deffinitions of accessibility.

----- 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: Sunday, August 24, 2008 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: Flickr and alt

David Poehlman wrote:
> Regardless of the law, there is a responsibility of the community to make
> content accessibility to all.  As I understand it, this is the very center
> of what the web is about.

At the same time, the web is about making _authoring_ possible for all.
  There is a fundamental tension between the two, since I don't think
all people are capable of producing content accessible to everyone.
Taking me as an example, I would have no idea where to even start trying
to make a document accessible to someone with autism, or Down's
Syndrome, or someone who is deaf.  In fact, I don't even know in which
cases I'd have to do something.

This is not to say that there aren't obvious cases in which it's clear
(to me) that the content won't be accessible to another user, and also
clear what should be done to fix that, and in those cases I do think I
have the responsibility to make it accessible.

But are those cases clear to said person with Down's Syndrome?  Should
they be able to author conformant HTML, or should they be excluded?  Do
you expect tool vendors to automatically detect all cases of
inaccessible content to help out such an author?  I do think we'll get
there eventually, but we're not there yet.

> AS far as answering your question about who should benefit
 > it is all for whom technology is available to benefit.

By "benefit" you mean that these are the people whom HTML authors should
worry about when authoring, right?

Define "available"?  Is cost (for the author) an issue?  (Seems to me
like it is.)

> It is unfortunate but I would be
> less than accurate if I were to say that all should have access when
> technology is not present to accomplish this.

OK.  Good to see that we agree on this.

> I would argue with its followings that someone needs to know how to write 
> in order to write.

And yet we do not require knowing how to read in order to read (e.g.
voice synthesizers).  Why the double-standard?

Received on Sunday, 24 August 2008 16:50:56 UTC

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