[Irl-dean] Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites link

Paul Walsh, Segala paul at segala.com
Wed Apr 12 12:01:04 IST 2006

      -----Original Message-----
      From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
      What's the answer to this then Paul? What kind of 
      direction do you think should be given? My feeling is 
      that knowing what "level" to strive for is not really the 
      problem. The problem is understanding accessibility and 
      the needs of users. If this understanding is achieved, 
      the right level becomes more obvious. The recent points 
      about different levels being appropriate for different 
      situations bears this out. If there is not enough 
      understanding then achieving an accessibility "level" 
      often becomes a tick-the-box exercise which ultimately 
      fails users.
Mark, I agree that it's important to understand accessibility and the needs
of users. I'm not saying real users shouldn't be engaged or understood. Some
of Segala's staff just happen to suffer from some of the disabilities that
are generally associated with web accessibility, they weren't employed for
this reason. So, we appreciate the social reasons. 

My complaint is the information in relation to the title of the document and
the expected objective of the document. Web commissioners in the UK (I
referred specifically to the UK) complain about the lack of direction from
the DRC. PAS78 is useful for people who don't know much about accessibility.
However it has actually annoyed commissioners and agencies who are familiar
with accessibility because it would appear that they are not given any more

I disagree with your point when you say if an understanding is achieved the
right level becomes more obvious. How does it? There has been no case law in
the UK or Ireland, so how do you know that by not implement a specific best
practice technique you are not discriminating against person x. You can not
support all of the people all of the time. Therefore you are going to
exclude some people some of the time.

If you think it's more obvious, perhaps you can tell us what guidelines
should be implemented for a bank, mobile operator, content provider, shop
keeper, retailer and blogger? How do you determine their potential customer
base? Gone are the days when user-centred design experts can easily group
specific users in a room that will represent a real customer base.

Kind regards,

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