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Re: Google Accessibility Search


From: Mark Magennis
Date: Jul 21, 2006 2:50AM

Christian Heilmann wrote:
> I like the idea, but it is - possibly involuntarily - advertising the
> idea that there needs to be a "special" version of any web app for
> blind people, which is a myth we tried to get rid of for years now.

I fully agree. It undermines one of the most important arguments in
favour of universally accessible websites - that you do not have to
compromise the functionality and aesthetics in order to improve
access. This is mostly true most of the time in today's Web.

I am also concerned that it reinforces the erroneous belief that
accessibility is about special adaptations for people with vision
impairment. It is not. It is about catering for the normal diversity
of sensory, cognitive and physical abilities that exists in almost
any user population.

Maybe this is a bit like "Bobby Approved". It may help raise
awareness, but may reinforce some incorrect and damaging messages
along the way.


Dr. Mark Magennis
Director of the Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland
Whitworth Road, Dublin 9, Republic of Ireland

<EMAIL REMOVED> tel: +353 (0)71 914 7464


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