Thread Subject: Re: Definition of accessibility
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From: Deborah Buck
Date: Thu, Nov 09 2006 1:40 PM
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I have always liked the approach that accessible E&IT underÂ§508 are those
products that conform to the standards. I understand the intent and can
support the logic to have a clear definition, however as you?ve noted below
it?s very challenging when you try to define the term because it becomes
muddled and very much tied to the individual and the concept of usability
(which is even harder to specify). That said- I think that there is a
benefit to addressing it in some way. You?ve identified an important
distinction about the standards/guidelines in that they provide minimal
accessibility and that?s an important factor that a lot of people don?t
realize. Perhaps there is a way to address the concept of minimal
accessibility - maybe not in a definitional type of format, but a statement
in subpart A. For example:
E&IT products that conform to the (cite the reference to the Â§508
standards- subpart B, C whatever we end up with) provide minimal
accessibility. Increased accessibility may be achieved as a result of
additional product features or options.
It certainly would need more word smiting.
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[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Gregg
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 2:57 PM
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Subject: [teitac-subparta] Definition of accessibility
The question has come up as to whether we should try to define
This comes up in many committees I have worked on.
The conclusion the other groups came up with was.
One really can't make products that are accessible.
One can make things accessible to a person in a situation.
One can't make things accessible to a person in all situations.
One can't make things accessible to all people.
So our guidelines are ?minimum accessibility guidelines?
They include some things that make products more accessible but not
So we shouldn?t try to define products as being accessible.
The second reason to not define it is that at some point in the discussion
you end up saying ?usable?. This immediately triggers a discussion of
accessibility vs usability and things go south pretty fast from there.
Finally, unless we use the word ?accessible? in one of the provisions in
some normative way ? it doesn?t need to be defined.
Just some thoughts.
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
< <http://trace.wisc.edu/> http://trace.wisc.edu/> FAX 608/262-8848
DSS Player at http://tinyurl.com/dho6b
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