WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: The Commercialization of Web Accessibility


From: Susan
Date: Dec 18, 2001 5:32PM

Be thankful the change in the law has increased market awareness about
accessibility. OK other people have entered the market but nothing can
take away Kynn's experience and enthusiasm can it? That's the first
thing I would suggest was put in the strengths column if he did an
examination of the strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats of his
current situation.

It's great doing things in theory but doing them in practise is
something else. Anyone can set themselves up as an expert in something
and appear to others as though they know what they are talking about
when really they know hardly anything. For example during January last
year I went off on a complete bunny trail while doing an assignment for
uni. I ended up writing a 40 page book on accessibility. It had 5
Section 1 - why bother (covering legal requirements in the UK)
Section 2 - an overview of why different groups need help and what sort
of help that is likely to be
Section 3 - checking a site for accessibility
Section 4 - practical things to do to make a site more accessible
Section 5 - where can I find out more
I was going to hand it in as part of the assignment but then realised
that if I did that I would lose control of what I had done.

I am definitely no expert and certainly don't have a lot of experience
but because of what I have read I have been able to put together
something that is readable. In fact if truth be known I suspect some
people would recognise certain passages as whole chunks of text were
literally copied and pasted from websites directly into Word.

I had not learnt to use HTML at that point so I hardly knew what all
these web sites were talking about when they gave hints and tips. It
makes a lot more sense now I have got a better idea how to use HTML.

I am now in a quandary I have something that I could use to supplement
my income so that I could pay off my debts. What do I do with it? I have
not exactly written every word myself although I have edited it all
together so can I truly claim authorship and therefore take all the
profits should I sell copies. But can I afford to give it away to people
that I come across who will find it useful? On the other hand if people
find it useful do I have the right to keep it to myself?

At the moment I can print off 40 pages and bind them with a clear front
cover, white back cover and a black comb so they look reasonably
professional. What about having it available to download and either
giving it away or if it could be organised charging a fee? I have been
exploring this possibility with other things I have written which have
fewer copyright issues so I know it is possible. Someone else gets quite
a chunk of the cash generated but it's possible.

The thing about charging a fee is that it can give you a greater sense
of worth in that people are actually buying what you have created. I
suspect this has something to do with Kynn's situation as I got a sense
that he was working hard and yet his work was not being valued in
monetary terms while he sees others being rewarded. On the other hand
there are other benefits to be had apart from financial gain but of
course they do not pay the bills. I for one have appreciated having
access to an affordable course in accessibility and indeed could never
have done it if it was much more expensive.

I am no expert at accessibility or developing web sites In fact I would
call myself a novice who is improving. However, I have research and
writing skills which make it easier for me to find out things and write
them up than many other people.

I read Kynn's message and thought what on earth do I do now? I don't
like stepping on toes although I am often more honest than tactful.

Any sensible suggestions or advice on any of this message (or was it a
book) will be gratefully received.