[thelist] Accessibility Ethics (WAS: RE: The need for IE-only sites?)

brian cummiskey brian at hondaswap.com
Thu Jul 8 11:40:46 CDT 2004

RUST Randal wrote:

>Chris Marsh wrote:
>>Business is business. In a free market economy one should be 
>>free to trade as one sees fit.
>>We embarked on a business venture, which is wholly different.
>The point that a lot of people are missing is that Web
>design/development is an industry. We work to produce and develop
>products. Most, if not all industries have governing bodies that
>implement standards. Those standards are meant to be followed, because
>they tend to keep the consumer safe.
>This is what the W3C does for our industry.
>This is not art. It is product development and delivery.
I agree with both sides.

There's the business side of things- targeting ones specific audience 
(perhaps no blind folks would ever need a car or whatever your product 
is, for example)
On the other hand, there's the need of those who are less fortunate to 
still be able to read, learn, shop for, browse, and talk about a car, 
even though they cannot legally drive one.

All standards and other methods aside, it ultimately comes down to what 
you or your client wants out of your site.

I code my hobby car site with valid xhtml table-less design, but i have 
next to no code for 508, no voice style sheet, and no accesskeys.  I 
find that blind folks wouldn't be remotely interested in learning how to 
swap a motor into their honda.  (hence, my site, hondaswap.com)

But at the same time, I see the need to make it accessible to other 
devices- such as cell phones, pda's, and other non-browser web 
explorers.  Using tableless design with style-driven layout, will 
present an unstyled, yet still usable version of my site.  I even 
include a link at the bottom of each page to javascriptly (is that even 
a word? ) toggle on/off stylesheets.

However, If I was recruited to build a site for a corporation that sold 
a product, such as a can opener, or aomething else that everyone with at 
least 1 hand can function, I would do my best to make it so that they 
could "see" the product even without a picture of it-  alt text, 
dimensions, construction, material, and so forth.

What it comes down to, business wise, is, "are you and your company 
willing to exclude XXXXX amount of people from accessing your 
productline and or information"?
It's an ethical answer sometimes more than logical.
It takes more time and thus money to make a site full 508, and bobby 
but it could cost you money by losing out on the sales from those who 
might happen to browse to the site.

this topic has gone way OT now, and has little to do with IE-only, but 
rather web standards and its need/use.

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