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Accessibility isn't a "feature": Responding to a drive-by comment
September 23, 2010 - 8:30pm

I usually have several different post ideas floating around in my brain at any given time. I try to select a topic that I think will generate a post that interests both me and my readers. I had planned on writing about something other than course catalogs again (I mean, it's not like they are that glamorous) and I apologize for writing about them so soon. However, there was one comment that got my attention. Greg, who I would assume has never read anything that I've ever written before, left a comment that I feel needs to be addressed. He was responding to my list of features on my ideal online course catalog:

My "dream" course catalog would include the following features: ACCESSIBLE
Hi Eric, if you cannot make your "dream" accessible to the Deaf and Blind, and other disabilities, then you might as well leave it as a dream. It is the Law!
Greg

I suppose that I should have been prepared for what amounts to a drive-by comment. I think that it's important to mention that I frequently write about web accessibility. For example:

Dear Greg, accessibility is not a "feature." Features are "additions" to core elements. Accessibility needs to be a core element of any and all websites. I don't think about accessibility as an extra bit of chrome. For me, accessibility is something that is standard. My list of ideal catalog features consisted of things that I would love to see residing atop a standards-based accessible online catalog.

My Grandpa Clyde has had a progressive hearing impairment for as long as I can remember. Every time I would visit him, he would be wearing his hearing aids and the captions would be turned on when we watched television. I didn't realize it until recently that my passion for web accessibility comes directly from my love for my grandfather. Web accessibility has always been important to me because I grew up thinking about accessibility in a different context.

Greg, thank you for the drive-by comment. I hope that you continue to read my posts. I promise that I will write more posts about accessibility in the near future.

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