Thread Subject: Defining Closed
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From: Randy Marsden
Date: Wed, Nov 22 2006 2:15 PM
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There is value in defining all three categories of Â³Closed ProductsÂ²:
1. Â³Technically closedÂ² (ie. Not open to AT)
2. Â³Closed by PolicyÂ², and
3. Â³Open to AT, but no AT existsÂ².
If a product is in the latter category, then a solution could be technically
produced. If AT doesnÂ¹t exist today, yet the mainstream manufacturer did
everything they needed to do in order to open up their product to AT, then
at least half the battle is won. After that, market forces should lead AT
manufacturers to provide the solution. (I know thatÂ¹s a Â³perfect worldÂ²
scenario, but AT manufacturers are in the business of providing AT
solutions, and if enough demand exists for a solution, they will make it).
The real question then becomes Â³what if the market forces (or other factors)
are not enough to entice AT vendors to create a solution?Â². In this case,
does the burden of accessibility rest on the original mainstream
manufacturer? In other words, are they required to create the AT themselves
(or build in accessibility)? An example of that very thing happening is the
Voice Over screen reader made by Apple for Mac OSX.
However, if a mainstream product is technically closed to AT (and doesnÂ¹t
have built-in accessibility of its own), then there is no hope of making it
accessible Â market forces or not. It would be helpful to know which
product fits into which category.
-Randy Marsden, ATIA
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