WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: The Commercialization of Web Accessibility


From: Carol Foster
Date: Dec 19, 2001 8:56AM

Ah it's the whole capitalist dilemma really, or something like that.
Anyway, I think there is a middle ground between everything being free and
$190 PDF's. I would love to see Jakob Neilsen's report and Kynn's book
available at bookish prices, say $35 give or take, either as books or
PDF's or whatever.


Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> At 5:38 PM -0600 12/18/01, Holly Marie wrote:
> >It is helpful, no need to feel guilty and where were all these web
> >sites, corporations, and even web designers that do not know going to
> >get help? And where is it stated they need to get help for free?
> I'm not necessarily stating my own views here. I'm playing devil's
> advocate now:
> If they don't get it for free, then the only sites which will
> be accessible are those which have chosen to pay for it. The
> problem results in that a failure to pay doesn't necessarily
> hurt the companies -- it hurts the users with disabilities.
> The higher the price tag on accessibility support material,
> the fewer people benefit it. For example, many large
> corporations may have been willing to use Bobby before on
> their sites, but not if they have to pay a site license
> fee. Fewer people using Bobby (and no free equivalent for
> it) can lead to generally less accessible sites.
> Therefore, it is to the advantage of people with disabilities
> that information accessibility remain no-charge -- it's why
> WCAG guidelines can have a larger impact than Mr. Nielsen's
> $190 report.
> Thoughts on this? I don't believe it all myself, and as an author,
> I'd certainly like to be able to sell books. But I think it is a
> necessary point to continue. If I wrote a book on accessibility,
> I might sell some copies and that would be a good thing. However,
> if I created a free web site and PDF with the same content, more
> people would get it. But I would have less motive to do this,
> because it would be, effectively, money out of my own pocket.
> And thus the businessman is in necessary conflict with the
> activist. Businessmen want to monetize accessibility because,
> as they see it, they can make money out of it _and_ by making
> money they can guarantee the availability and maintenance of
> the resource, and even develop further resources. The activist
> looks primarily at the good that's done for people in need, and
> sometimes has to make compromises for practicality's sake,
> recognizing that content won't get created if it means too much
> personal sacrifice.
> What do you think?
> --Kynn
> --
> Kynn Bartlett < <EMAIL REMOVED> > http://kynn.com
> Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain http://idyllmtn.com
> Web Accessibility Expert-for-hire http://kynn.com/resume
> January Web Accessibility eCourse http://kynn.com/+d201
> ---
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

- --
Carol Foster, Web Developer
Internet Publishing Group, Information Technology Services
University of Massachusetts, President's Office
(413) 587-2130
- --