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Intro and question

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From: Beth Hanes
Date: Jun 23, 2004 10:55AM


Hello,

I've been lurking on this list for a little while and have learned a lot
from reading your posts. Thanks!

I've done a little web design in the past, but now I'm responsible for
developing the site for our program at the university, and I'm very
committed to making the site fully accessible. I have much still to learn
on this topic.

In considering accessibility, my first thought was to create one
graphics-intense site (the main site) and one low-graphics site, linking to
the accessible site from the main site.

However, in reading some things on the web about this idea, I discovered
that some people consider this approach demeaning to those who will use the
accessible site--sort of as if one population of web users is restricted to
using a _back door_ to enter the site. Naturally, I do not want to offend
or demean anyone who uses our site.

My ultimate goal is to create a single website that satisfies both the
desire of a visually-oriented population to access a cutting edge website
and the desire of those who are vision impaired or have other accessibility
issues to be able to access the site's content. But that will take me quite
awhile to accomplish (if ever!), and I must get this website built as soon
as possible, as the current site is a disaster from many standpoints, not
the least of which is utter inaccessibility.

Can anyone give me some insight as to the feelings of the disabled web
community about separate, accessible sites? Does this population really
feel demeaned when using these sites? Would you advise that I avoid the
two-site approach?

Thank you in advance for any input!

Beth Hanes
Office Manager
University Honors Program
MSC06 3890
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-4213
http://www.unm.edu/~honors