[thelist] Top 10 reasons to make your page accessible...

Austin Harris austin at dotmail.co.uk
Tue Jan 23 04:33:14 CST 2007

Thanks for taking the time for a great response, I could have just gone off and written the talk you describe below but knew that asking on here would bring up a more interesting take on it...

I am bored to tears with these "people will find you and you make
shitloads of money and you won't be sued" accessibility talks as they
tend to breed companies that love to tick boxes on a bobby report
rather than really do something about accessibility. There is no such
thing as white hat SEO, period.

I have to agree - the problem being that a sales team has to justify it in terms the customer can relate to, ie cash. Secondly the place I am currently at "pride themselves" on SEO and "sales conversion".

I've given some highly successful talks lately (next on Monday in
Paris at the Braillenet conference) by turning the whole situation
around and flagging up how creating accessible products in the past
have helped us all.

- The speaker and subsequently the phone was invented by someone who
was hard-of-hearing
- OCR scanning was invented to help a blind person and now helps us
all archiving data
- Currently there are university research programmes that rely on
blind people to recognise the important parts of documents to
automatically cut down information of web sites for mobile use.

Some of the best design comes from "looking" at things from a different perspective, the Aga was designed by someone who was blind, <http://www.aga-rayburn.co.uk/50.htm> yet is now a design classic.

I have to check with the legal team here, but I can send you the
presentation as a pointer.

That would be fantastic, thank you.

We need to get accessibility out of that "we have to do something for
handicapped people" - as in creating a habitat for them - to seeing
accessibility testing as an incubator for overall better products.

In a strange way I don't really like the whole accessibility thing for the reason above, my view being that a site / page that is done properly is going to be accessible anyway. (And accessible for everyone - not the generic blind person with a screenreader that so many people seem to have in mind.)

Other than that it is a good idea to know the pain of the people you
try to sell accessibility to:


And to point out the main mistakes:


Again, thankyou for the time taken, much appreciated, Austin.

Chris Heilmann
Book: http://www.beginningjavascript.com
Blog: http://www.wait-till-i.com
Writing: http://icant.co.uk/

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