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Re: Help with Overview on Web Page Accessibility

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From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jan 31, 2003 10:16AM


On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Laurie Davis-Covin wrote:

> I'm giving some content providers an overview of accessibility of Web
> pages. They're not responsible for a final accessible page, but I want to
> hit home with them on this topic. They need to understand the importance
> of accessible web pages and be *concerned* that their pages will meet the
> requirements.

I'd like to mention the "business guide" on accessibility that I wrote for
the Diffuse project and that was updated last December to cover some of
the new developments:
http://www.diffuse.org/accessibility.html
It's basically intended for managers, directors, etc., so the language and
style might be a bit too abstract and "political" to content providers.

> Would love to find something in writing that leaves no doubt that making
> your pages accessible is the right, and important thing, for a web designer
> to do, and that accessibility goes hand in hand with usability, and that
> the pages help those with temporary disabilities as well.

As regards to the last point - which is very essential - I think the page
mentioned in the guide gives very illustrative examples:
http://www.trace.wisc.edu/docs/ud4grid/
The problem is that the page is about the Grid, which could make it very
interesting to some people, alienating to some other people. But the
discussion of that theme is relatively independent of the Grid view.

Regarding usability, it would be too simplistic to say that it always goes
hand in hand with accessibility. The principles are mostly parallel, and
largely identical, but clashes are possible. I wouldn't emphasize the
connection with usability too much, especially since "usability" has
somewhat varying interpretations. Rather, I'd emphasize that making Web
page more accessible to people with special difficulties will generally
make them more comfortable to all people.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/


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