[DNS] Let's Talk Net

[DNS] Let's Talk Net

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:05:26 -0800 (PST)
OK, to respond to a few postings:
You may well have one friend that doesn?t seem too concerned about issues such as accessibility, however I work with a dozen or so blind people and most of them work towards ending discrimination against people who are blind and vision impaired. Some deal with technology, some deal with areas such as getting access to automatic teller machines or to be able to vote confidentially. And the previously mentioned photo ID for people who don?t drive was introduced following constant lobbying by blindness agencies.

And as for your friend saying he expected government to consider vision impairment, and he doesn?t expect the private sector to, well, there are many other people with disabilities who strongly disagree. And it?s why there?s the Disability Discrimination Act. And the Act is in place precisely because government, and especially the private sector, don?t consider the needs of people with disabilities.

And no, I?m not blind, but my Monday to Friday job is working for a blindness and vision impairment agency, and I have done so for the past 3 years.

Your argument that discrimination against a person because of their race is different to discrimination because of a disability is crap. Again, look at the Disability Discrimination Act. Not even our current government has attempted to undermine this.

Your question, and others, about cost, has been answered by a colleague who develops websites, and says if accessibility for a person who is blind or vision impaired is considered from the start, you could add 5% to the cost of a website. And to an absolute maximum of 10%.

And it?s obvious the private sector can?t be left to deal with these issues on their own. The reason is the abject failure of many here on this list who refuse to consider disability issues. And these are people who are largely involved in aspects of developing and providing access to the internet.

Your comment that the disabled can buy ?simple? software is misleading. For example, a blind person would need to buy software called Jaws. It currently costs $1,600, a significant amount of money for someone who is not likely to earn a huge amount of money. Software for people who are vision impaired is less. And this is just the start of the investment! Each time a new edition of the Microsoft operating system comes out, the user will need a complete new version of Jaws. Plus, in all likelihood, they?ll need a new computer as well. And not just any computer but a highly ?speced? computer.

Now, for those developing websites, if you want to check if your website works with Jaws, I?ve been told there is a demo version of Jaws available where one can test Jaws for 40 minutes, and then another 40 minutes if you reboot your computer, and so on! Go to http://www.freedomscientific.com/. Demonstration versions are available from http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_downloads/jaws.asp

I?ve also been informed there are a series of Accessibility Workshops being held. There?s one in Canberra tomorrow but it?s fully booked. There?s another in Adelaide on 15 December with Darwin to follow in 2007. More information is available at http://visionaustralia.org.au/info.aspx?page=775. The workshops seem to be being held in conjunction with AIMIA.


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Received on Mon Nov 13 2006 - 03:05:26 UTC

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