when is some too much? WAS RE: [thelist] Link Types

Ben Henick persist1 at io.com
Thu Jan 2 15:52:01 CST 2003

On Thu, 2 Jan 2003, Chris W. Parker wrote:

> 1. although accessibility is good and all, at what point does it become
> overkill? asked another way would be, is it really worth the time and
> effort to make our "eXtreme Gymnastics" page wheelchair accessible?

As others have noted, there is an element of deferring to common sense.

Since you brought up wheelchair-bound users in a gymnastics scenario...

Le'ssay that you're building a site for a gymnastics school.

First off, who's paying?  I can DEFINITELY foresee a circumstance in
which, say, a wheelchair-bound uncle and/or aunt pays tuition for their
granddaughter... don't they need to shop?

What about color-blind users?

Parkinson's Disease and cerebral palsy can have serious effects on motor
skills.  For example.  (Nor have I met any sufferers of those conditions
whose uncorrected vision was spot-on.)

> that question of course is going to be taken by someone i'm sure as
> meaning i hate people with wheelchairs. this of course is absolutely not
> true and the thought should be removed from your mind if you are that
> person. my question is honest and valid and not meant to do harm. it is
> meant to have an open discussion about where the line gets drawn (or
> where you think it should be drawn) between reasonable accessibility and
> overkill.

The exhortation to know and consider one's audience is hereby repeated.

The line can be best drawn at one of resources.  If you've looked at the
WAI specs, it rapidly becomes evident that achieving Level 1 (and most of
Levels 2 and 3) is not so much a matter of twisting yourself into a
pretzel whilst planning and designing, as it is changing the assumptions
on which you predicate design and development.

But if the achievement of an accessibility datum becomes impracticable in
the face of budget and/or design constraints, explain that limitation to
the client.  This is much more easily accomplished in advance - which
constitutes yet another incentive to learn WAI/Sec508 guidelines as
faithfully as you've learned HTML and CSS.

> 2. can someone point me to a webpage that is at the absolute limit of
> accessibility as it stands today? i mean, i'm looking for a page that
> someone would be able to say "man, you don't get any more accessible
> than that!" i'd like to see what the source looks like for two reasons.
> (a) to get a feel for how much extra code is used, (b) to see how i can
> make my pages more accessible by using a real world example.

*snort*  They're not hard to find - they're kept simple.  I'm sure you've
seen the general type:  bgcolor of #c0c0c0, black 12pt TNR type... *grin*

This is why external stylesheets are such a big deal!





...Authored by the guy who engineered Netscape 0.9 through 4.x for
Unix-ish platforms, BTW.

Ben Henick                     "In the long run, men hit only what they aim
Web Author At-Large             at.  Therefore, though they should fail
http://www.io.com/persist1/     immediately, they had better aim high."
persist1 at io.com                 -- Henry David Thoreau

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