WaSP Accessibility Task Force Manifesto

Manifesto – The Web Standards Project: “Since its inception in 1998, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) has been campaigning for the general adoption of web standards. While great progress has been made in getting browser manufacturers, web designers and even some authoring tool developers to understand and leverage the advantages of standards, there still remain crucial parts of the “web equation” to be tackled.

“Assistive technologies (such as screen readers) that some people with disabilities use still do not consistently take full advantage of the possibilities offered by standards-compliant markup.
Sophisticated and expensive content management tools produce poor-quality, non-semantic, inaccessible markup.

“A lot of authoring software (including CMS and blogging tools) cannot be easily used by people with disabilities, because they don’t conform to Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) – the W3C recommendation for web authoring tools.
Corporations and their web developers mistakenly believe that accessible web development is incompatible with branding and beauty.

“Those that do care are often sold expensive and erroneous solutions by that new phenomenon: the Accessibility Snake Oil Salesman – companies claiming a thorough understanding of web accessibility issues and promising “miracle cure” systems that automatically take care of them, but only delivering solutions which are anything but accessible.

“The rapid adoption of DOM scripting and AJAX introduces further problems with regards to support by Assistive Technologies.

“The Accessibility Task Force believes that now is the time to address these problems. We want to highlight the daily issues faced by designers and developers which perpetuate inaccessible processes and output, and work toward the swift eradication of these problems. And we want to change the focus of accessibility from simply quieting an automated tool to addressing the real barriers encountered by real users of all abilities.”

Read the full manifesto.

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