February 16, 2011

a11y cat[1]

catherine @ 6:01 pm

This is a post I wrote last April 2010 at the height of the whole #a11y vs. #AxS debate that gripped the Accessibility community on twitter at the time. The plan was to chime in, to make it clear what I thought about this whole thing and why I feel the way I do. Note that a large part of the contents of this post were taken, with some adjustments, from an email I wrote to a dear friend at the time. Indeed, I had decided to stop tweeting about it and to write an email, not because I did not want to discuss this subject publicly but because I felt that this was not a discussion that could be well served 140 characters at a time.

And then I thought I should probably commit to collective memory my perspective on the issue and write a blog post about it. But obviously, I never published the article because I kind of got tired of the whole subject and decided to just do my own thing. But, I was called out on this issue again today so I think it will just be easier to post the gawd damn thing and have it over with.

So anyway, last April on twitter, it was proposed that people start using the #AxS (as in “access”) hashtag in lieu of the #a11y (as in “accessibility”) hashtag (see John Foliot’s blog post on the story for more background). My impression is that the primary motivation here was to gain 1 character in tweets. And it seems to me that every other argument was secondary to the goal which, again, was to gain 1 character in tweets. So, lets have a look at some of these arguments[2].

Continue reading a11y cat[1]

October 26, 2006

do not google unless you really mean it

catherine @ 11:31 am

Google posted a blog entry yesterday, visibly geared towards Joe-boîte-à-lunch, on how to use and especially how not to use their name. And judging from the related posts elsewhere linked to at the bottom of the article, a lot of people are not very happy.

I think we need to see this for what it is. Simply that Google is once again doing what is expected to protect their trademark, which will be useful in the future when they decide to sue the pants off whoever they please (or more likely whoever had one of their lawyers break out into a tepid sweat). After all, it would be harder to cry trademark infringement (or whatever the legal term is) if they can not prove they have done a minimum to protect it. So now, not only can they say commercial entities have been warned but regular folks as well.

Continue reading do not google unless you really mean it

October 5, 2006

accessibility - prise deux

catherine @ 5:01 pm

Once again, people are getting into what some are now calling the “accessibility wars”. This is quite unfortunate of course because after all, we are supposed to be on the same side ; we should be fighting for something, not over something. So once again, because I care about this issue and feel that all of this is doing more harm than good, I will reiterate in the clearest manner possible the difference between the basic concepts involved. I apologise in advance for the quality of my English in this post ; I usually spend days and days revising my texts but I wanted to get this out as soon as possible and move on.

The semantics surrounding accessibility is something I have studied for quite a while now. And I do not mean I have just read a couple of articles or blog posts and subsequently made up my mind. I mean I have scoured the Web and any other related material I could get my hands on with my albeit limited means and poured over these resources for months at a time to form my opinions. I have considered concepts of accessibility and/or universality not only in the field of Web development but also barrier-free architecture, spatial and information sciences. I have thought about it from different perspectives, political, social and technical. I have taken into account the context in which advancements concerning disability issues have taken place, traditional concepts and related initiatives and outcomes.

Continue reading accessibility - prise deux

Filed under: accessibility, words
August 5, 2006

on accessibility

catherine @ 9:14 am

Ok, so I have perhaps decided to start a blog though I am not completely sure yet. And I had started writing a long post explaining why I may or may not have started a blog. But then, I read something on Anne van Kesteren’s blog yesterday and got fairly irritated about it. So I decided that I would leave the existential ramblings for a later date and write about what got me so very much annoyed instead.

Anne posted an item a few days ago on the new accessible search service Google has recently unleashed onto the world. This has generated a certain amount of chit-chat in the technology field and in particular, the standards and accessibility fields, whether on blogs or various mailing lists. Unfortunately, nothing really interesting or useful has as yet been said about this new development. That is besides T.V. Raman’s post to the WAI Interest Group mailing list to explain, with the usual googlian aplomb, that Google would not disclose their criteria for ranking sites according to accessibility performance so we should just keep it simple and use our “favourite guidelines”.

Continue reading on accessibility

Filed under: accessibility, words
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