Thread Subject: Re: FPC - USERS' AT
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From: Peter Wallack
Date: Mon, Jun 04 2007 11:35 AM
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Vendors are already in the situation that our software only supports a
limited set of OS's and browsers, so why should AT support be any
different? Competition drives our desire to support the broadest
possible range of all of them. Don't get me wrong for a second here; we
want to code to standards, and we hope that more and more AT will match
the 'other side' of the standards we are coding to. And we are
absolutely committed to providing at least 'a mode' that works for each
disability. The dearth of AT that currently supports java, for example,
is not a pleasant situation; the future for AJAX UIs also appears
daunting. But if industry cannot be allowed to focus on just getting
the 'top tier' of these to work at all, then we're not benefiting any
of our audience. <br>
Though I shutter at the thought of doing this, the best way to present
this situation to a disabled user would appear to be simple disclosure,
something like a 'Works best with' label, as is already common for many
web pages. This should encourage two things:<br>
<li>software vendors to make that list as long as possible</li>
<li>AT vendors to work with apps vendors so they can get on the list</li>
The obvious risk is that the big AT vendors simply get bigger as a
result of the free advertising. But thats a risk I'm willing to take,
being as I live in a capitalist economy.<br>
With that in mind, I think it could be worded along the lines of:<br>
<font face="Arial" size="2"><span
style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">“<b><span
with a broad range of users’ AT</span> for public access to government
E&IT, and</b></span></font><b> enumerates those AT that will work
best."</b> (though stopping short of the word 'certification').<br>
<pre class="moz-signature" cols="72">Peter Wallack
Accessibility Program Director
Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
But if we do we also reduce the number of people who can access to less than
So both solutions are not acceptable. We are put in a really &^#@$%&
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
<pre wrap="">-----Original Message-----
From: <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = "> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = </a>
[<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ">mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = </a>] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 11:22 AM
To: TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee
Subject: Re: [teitac-general] FPC - USERS' AT
<pre wrap="">Which users' AT?
If "users' AT" means ALL users' AT it sets unreasonable
<pre wrap="">limitations on
<pre wrap="">technologies that can be used.
If "users' AT" means only the best AT out there it
<pre wrap="">unreasonably limits
<pre wrap="">access to government information to just the small
<pre wrap="">percentage with the
<pre wrap="">best AT.
<pre wrap="">One real problem - if we restrict what can be deployed to the
public to something other than what the latest AT supports
(let us presume to pick a number, only those features that is
support by AT that has been in on the market for 1 year),
then we remove a major incentive for AT vendors to support
new technologies, approaches, etc.
The AT industry has historically trailed new technology -
typically supporting Web techniques and applications only
when a critical mass / large enough market share has
developed. There are a variety of reasons for this -
including how hard it is to develop AT in a world without
good support for AT-IT interoperability. Nonetheless, it is a
market reality today.
There is a real danger that we will hinder the development
and deployment of new and accessible techniques if use any
test that requires compatibility with AT deployed in the field.
The situation we have today isn't great either - the
proliferation of inaccessible techniques (e.g. AJAX without
support for WAI ARIA) and the lag we have today in making
them accessible. Frankly the only way I see to address this
is to push new development as much as possible to develop and
use accessibility services for AT-IT interoperability (as we
are doing in our drafts).
Sun Microsystems, Inc.