Caring about Accessibility
At a panel presentation at this year’s South by South West
conference, Jeff Veen publicly said: "I don’t care
That’s some statement. Read it again:
"I don’t care about accessibility."
Looks pretty bad doesn’t it? Jeff Veen said that? Yes, he did, I
heard it and
so did many others attending the event. But … they
it in context, and what Jeff really meant that was ‘as a practitioner
standards, by doing things correctly he almost doesn’t have to think
that it almost comes automatically as a by-product’.
The trouble is, this is not always the case, and the other problem
too many people are latching on to the Jeff Veen soundbite and the
getting twisted along the way (something that Mr Veen surely never
Matt May, a W3C guy with a special responsibility for accessibility
the Web Accessibility Initiative, Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines and more),
has put his thoughts on
the issue together over at his personal web log, BestKungFu:
I know he didn’t mean that, because I saw the presentation, and I
notes. Veen gets it, because getting it is his job, and has been
most Web designers got their first cramps from typing angle
brackets. He knows
you have to care about it, even if you are a standardista. And if
that in his message, you can stop here.
But if you quoted him out of context saying "I don’t care
on your blog, as many did, you need to read on.
Accessibility is definitely not a no-brainer, even if
coding to standards
is. You cannot assume that a site will be completely accessible
simply by using
the correct markup (but it helps).