WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Reality Check (was RE: accessibility for deaf)


From: Joe Clark
Date: May 3, 2006 12:20PM

>In any given territory, deaf users that are functioning in their
>particular society have already developed coping mechanisms to deal
>with [print]... however, we don't see product packaging in sign
>language, nor newspapers, magazines, junk mail or any other form of
>written communication - why should the web be different?

I do not support wholesale use of sign language as a Web
accessibility method, but it certainly has its place. You don't see
sign language on cereal boxes because it's impossible. It *is*
possible on the Web.

The BBC accessibility study that is much forgotten now
<http://joeclark.org/axxlog/2003/2003a.html#bbci>; found that deaf
subjects would have preferred more sign language. Something weaker
came out of the Disability Rights Commission study (*still* not
online in HTML
<http://www.drc-gb.org/publicationsandreports/report.asp>;; I still
have my version up <http://joeclark.org/dossiers/DRC-GB.html>;). There
are a few deaf sites that attempt to use sign language

So there is some modest demand. But indeed, if this were a huge
problem we'd already have heard about it. And *requiring* translation
into one or more sign languages opens up a large can of worms. In the
example I keep giving, nothing would stop Ukrainian-speakers at that
point from demanding Ukrainian-language sites for "accessibility."


Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>;
Expect criticism if you top-post