Definition of Accessibility

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Doug

You don't measure accessibility by whether somebody can use it because somebody will always come up, or they may not; sometimes it's just absolutely not usable. You have to have a set of standards or guidelines against what you judge the code; I'm using both software and web as examples. To say something is accessible means that it meets the requirements laid down for accessibility. Any question on that? I get a lot of argument. Some people say, Well, you're talking in circles. You're saying to be accessible to meet the accessibility requirements. That's absolutely right. To be fully compliant with exhaust emissions, you comply with exhaust emissions standards. That's why with accessibility, to measure it, the only way to measure it is to have an objective standard set of whatever you can develop and then measure against. By the very nature this means that these are going to be minimal. 508 is a minimal level of accessibility. We hope that people are willing to go beyond it once they see that it is not rocket science. But, it really is the beginning, the groundwork. I've used the analogy: the 508 requirements are sort of like the rules of the road that if you violate will put you in a court or with a nice, fat ticket. But then other places teach you defensive driving. The only thing they could get you for, if you didn't follow the rules of defensive driving, maybe they could get you for reckless driving. But, 50 miles per hour or 75 miles an hour is absolutely specific. You go over it, you're going too fast. You go under it, you may be driving to endanger, but you're not violating the rule. This is what 508 is like. 508 is standards.

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