[bct] Re: further discussion of Ajax was Google Mail and screen readers

  • From: "Bill Belew" <bill@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 18:33:32 -0800

Jennifer, very well said.  In my experience a friendly, positive approach
generates more good will and more results in the long run.  There is room
for many different approaches and attitudes, but for me staying positive and
following the golden rule is the way to go.  


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jennifer Sutton
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 4:33 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: further discussion of Ajax was Google Mail and screen

Hello Darrell and all:

I'm going to go out on a limb here, I suppose, but perhaps those on 
this list will pardon me.  I'd like to respond to a comment or two 
you made, Darrell.  I get a little philosophical about my outlook, so 
if you're not interested, just delete.

Darrell wrote, in part:

At 12:39 PM 12/18/2005 -0700, you wrote:

It seems to me that the tools used by coders need to, as much as 
possible, generate code that is automatically  accessible with little 
or no additional intervention required.

Yes, sure, if we lived in a dream world.  But given what I know about 
Web and application accessibility i.e. that it takes human judgment, 
this is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes.  I don't believe that 
computers can think about accessibility, entirely, as humans can and 
should.  Yes they can help, but tools that prompt for accessibility 
supports (cross disability, of course), when sites are being built, 
can only prompt so much, just as is the case with Web accessibility 
testing/checking tools.

This is not to say that I don't believe there will be improvements 
because I try to be optimistic and believe that there will be.  I 
find that people who are interested in taking new approaches to site 
and application building are more receptive when I take the attitude 
that all three of the groups that need to be partners to work for 
change do want the best and to work together.  I try to help form 
working relationships and connect people, as much as i can.  Again, 
those groups are the user agent (browser developers), the screen 
reader manufacturers, and the Web application developers.  Standards 
are all we really have to hang our hats on; expecting the screen 
readers to cater to every little nuance of every innovative app. is 
unrealistic, as I see it.

But developers need to come to understand ways in which standards can 
support and foster innovation, rather than stifle it.

Yes, the tools need to improve, as does the education that developers 
receive.  Plenty of things need to improve, and I do my best to offer 
specific, productive, bite-sized approaches people can take, when 
they are willing and able.

Darrell continues:
Until this can happen, I fear we're pretty much stuck in most 
situations today.  Isn't reality a huge bummer?

I respond:

>As I see it, reality is only a huge bummer if you decide that it
>will be.  That's what I believe, anyway.  I also work very very hard 
>not to live in the land of fear.  Living in that dark and bleak land 
>has caused me great pain in my life, and being fearful and assuming 
>the worst never have made me a positive forward-thinking advocate.

I apologize to you, Darrell, and to all for sounding as preachy as I 
am sure I do.  However, perhaps this may prove to be helpful and 
others may learn from the mistakenly misplaced mental energy I've 
spent at times.

Best to all as we try to focus on the positive in 2006.  It is 
possible to advocate while focusing on the positive.  It may be 
harder, but it is possible.  I'm not always successful, but that's my goal.


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