E-mail List Archives

Re: What motivates you? and accessibility checks

for

From: Paul Bohman
Date: Mar 8, 2000 11:02AM


I just downloaded the trial version of HotMetal Pro 6. It looks like a good
program. I'm impressed that they even include _any_ feature that supports
accessible design. For the most part, I was happy with their implementation
of the accessibility check. The information that they give is good, but it
isn't perfect. For example, they tell you that you have to provide
alternative content for all tables. In reality, this is not a desirable
practice. Some tables are used for data purposes, which, after all, is the
real reason that tables exist in the first place. Even tables that are used
for formating can be made accessible.
The advice that HotMetal Pro dishes out is definitely welcome (since no one
else even attempts to do this), but it can give a slightly wrong impression
of what must be done to make a site accessible. I don't want everyone to
eliminate tables from their design. In fact, very few web developers will do
this, even if you tell them to. Some of HotMetal's advice is based on the
limitations of older assistive technologies. If you really want to make a
site backwords compatible for all of those old browsers, then the advice is
good. In real life, though, there is a middle ground that must be reached.
Although it's bad practice to make a web site that only works on the newest
technologies, I think that it is not the best idea to design web sites for
the "lowest common denominator." Many Web designers who have heard about
accessiblity have the false impression that an accessible site is text-only
and very boring. They don't realize that they can have an attractive site
that is also accessible. By telling them that they have to sacrifice the
quality of their presentation for accessibility, we will be fighting a
losing battle. They simply won't do it, nor should they.
So, although I congratulate HotMetal for their thoughtfulness, I also think
it is wise to exercise caution in implementing some of their suggestions.
Paul Bohman
Web Accessibility in Mind (Web-AIM)

----- Original Message -----
From: Kathryn Wyeth < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: WebAIM accessibility forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2000 7:09 PM
Subject: RE: What motivates you? and accessibility checks

Yes thanks, I use Bobby a lot - good prompt to learn more I think since so
many thing need to be checked manually.
Sometimes it is nice to catch things as you are writing too though.
I think the following link to an article is of Hotmetal 5. It may answer
your question though:
http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue9/web-access/
-