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Re: The Commercialization of Web Accessibility

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From: Michael Goddard
Date: Dec 19, 2001 10:52AM


<BR>As an individual who has a
disability and a career within the Web<BR>Development and Design field, my
viewpoint is that the more commercialized<BR>that accessibility gets, the
sharper the "double-edge sword" gets.&nbsp; What I<BR>mean by this is that
there
are going to be pros and cons regarding this and<BR>those pros and cons will
begin to make stronger impacts upon people's<BR>decisions in the use of
accessibility.<BR><BR>Pros:<BR>1) Increased awareness of accessibility issues
to
larget audiences.<BR>2) With the monies earned, the possibility of
accessiblility features being<BR>researched and new technologies
created.<BR><BR>Cons:<BR>1) Cost becomes too high for accessibility tools to
be
used and company's<BR>therefore not using the necessary tools.&nbsp; This is
my
dilemma in regards to<BR>training.<BR>2) Accessibility should be used
throughout
the world, however only the U.S.,<BR>Canada and U.K have/or implementing some
type of accessibility laws<BR>"requiring" in a limited way that accessibility
must be met. (If I forgot a<BR>country I apologize). This in turns creates an
"unfair" playing field in my<BR>opinion.&nbsp; So for example, Sony Inc. is a
Japanese company and is not bound<BR>by any law to create accessible content,
so
they don't have to worry nor<BR>spend money for accessiblility issues on their

web sites, however Microsoft<BR>is an American company that is bound by
American
law to provide<BR>accessiblility on their web sites so they have to spend and
worry about<BR>accessiblility issues....(NOTE: this is an example to clarify
the
point!)<BR><BR>I am sure there are many more pros and cons however these are
the
main two<BR>that stick in my mind the most.&nbsp; Plus another fear that I
have
in regards to<BR>the commercialization of accessibility ( I am not against
making money just<BR>cautious about the "results" regarding this - i.e causing

prices to increase<BR>and tools, once being free like Bobby, now having to be
bought for usage )<BR>is that people tend to forget that I or anyone else
witha
disability have<BR>the right to be able to access public information for free
as
everyone else.<BR><BR>Why should I pay money so I can get closed captioning on
a
video when a<BR>"normal" person can view the same video for free.&nbsp; I have
a
right to the<BR>same information as anyone else but I have to 'pay' for
it.<BR><BR>I see this happening just for the fact that companies will have to
find some<BR>way to pay for the services that they 'had' to 'pay' for in order

to make<BR>the video accessible.&nbsp; And those costs will trickle down to
the
users of<BR>that service.<BR><BR>Those are my thoughts, take them in anyway
you
like them.<BR><BR>Michael<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>---<BR>To subscribe, unsubscribe,

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