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

Paul Walsh, Segala paul at segala.com
Wed Apr 12 18:42:45 IST 2006

      -----Original Message-----
      > I disagree with your point when you say if an understanding is 
      > achieved the right level becomes more obvious. How does it?
      If you develop more understanding of how accessibility 
      barriers arise and the effects they have on individuals, 
      you will then have a greater ability to anticipate what 
      issues might arise with your service and how serious they 
      will be. You can then prioritise your efforts and know 
      the implications of doing so. In contrast, if you have 
      less understanding, then questions of level - "should we 
      include this checkpoint?", "should we go for A or AA or 
      AAA?" - become difficult to make an informed decision about.

[PW] I can't disagree because your point is generic and almost refers to
examples of understanding at opposite ends of the measuring stick. Put more
simply, people who know little about accessibility and people who know a
lot. My point refers to people who sit somewhere in the middle. That is,
they know how disabled users use the Internet and the commercial benefits of
best practice design. This does not necessarily mean they will know how many
guidelines they should apply to ensure they're not taken to court by someone
representing a small minority. If very experienced agencies and brand owners
are making this statement something needs to be done to help.

      > There has been no case law in [...snip]
      I don't understand the point you're making here. Can you 
      try explaining it in another way?

[PW] Not important, my point is made elsewhere.
      > 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 
      > their potential customer base?
      It is up to them to determine their potential customer 
      base isn't it?

[PW] You don't always know who your customer base is, or how they will
access your website. Too many people assume they know who their customer is,
where they come from and how they will want to access your products and
services. Isn't this the problem? That is, people assume their customers are
between certain ages, use cutting edge hardware, latest browser, broadband
access and are not impaired in any way. 

At what point do we assume access to products and services via a mobile
phone becomes a legal requirement? Will it be date driven, technology
driven? Difficult to answer huh.

      That's basic business. The more they know about 
      accessibility, the more accurately they will be able to 
      determine the accessibility requirements of their 
      customer base. Then the more correctly they'll be able to 
      decide what guidelines they should implement. That's all 
      I'm saying.
I agree with most of what you say. To demonstrate with an extreme example,
we could recommend that everyone should strive for specific checkpoints in
each category of WAI and then add a few usability best practice design
techniques that are testable. 


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