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  1. #26
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    Ok, I’ve got a reply from the RNIB and they say that the politically correct term for people with disabilities on the internet is.... constantly changing, so just make sure your terminology isn’t obviously offensive, and try not to refer to people with disabilities as a group, e.g. the blind.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Zealot impunjabians's Avatar
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    obviously "netDibs"

  3. #28
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    netDibs? is that a joke? It sounds rather offensive to me.

  4. #29
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    I don't think there is anything wrong with the label disabled. I work with disabled people and they don't have a problem with it either.
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  5. #30
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I am not disabled but I have a disability. So if you called me disabled I would look at you very oddly... Focus on the person first and not the label.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Off Topic:
    From ectoplasms link before it says the term 'invalid' should be used as this means 'not valid'. Fair enough, I understand the term is seen as offensive, so I wouldn't use it, but if that's the reason, then surely 'disabled' means 'not abled' and implies 'switched off'. Can anyone explain why one term is ok and the other one not?
    The problem here is that in English they have become two words, one meaning sickly or suffering from disease (now meaning also not able to fully do all things the medium person from their group can do), and the other, not correct, lawful, fact or truth. They are in fact the same word which basically means not strong (invalidus).

    Unfortunately words continue to change their meanings and we have to just stay on top of what's popular and trendy. So, if currently "invalid" is being associated again with "invalid", then we just go with the flow and use dis-abled.

    In Dutch it's invalide. It's never confused with "not valid."

  7. #32
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    People-first language

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Such expression focus on the disability instead of the humanity. A disability shouldn't define who a person is.
    Exactly. AutisticCuckoo has it right, in the above-quoted post and a subsequent one. I work in vocational rehabilitation, and all our clients are people with disabilities. This issue is called "people-first language," and it is pretty well accepted among disability advocacy groups although some aspects of it do change from time to time.

    It's good to emphasize that your site is functional for people who use assistive technologies like screen readers and text-only browsers, and that you've taken the extra care to consider color contrast and font-resizing options for people with vision impairments. You don't have to specifically refer to people with disabilities to do that.

    Also, I think it's a good idea to use a validation tool like Cynthia Says, and to display the appropriate icon denoting your level of compliance (A, AA or AAA) with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative. Just as you validate for HTML or XHTML and for CSS (you do, don'tcha?).

    Some very good accessibility design tips can be found at:
    http://rnib.org.uk/ (look for the Web Access Centre)
    and
    http://www.afb.org/ (look for the Web Accessibility section)

    We like to talk more about a person's specific functional limitations, and we avoid labeling people as "disabled." It's not so much a matter of being PC as being more precise. Think about blindness: there are many people who are legally blind who have some vision -- maybe significant vision, but very limited peripheral vision. So they have ability, but it is impaired. Disability is actually a broad spectrum of relative ability, so to label someone as "disabled" when they are "differently abled" can be taken very easily as an insult. Think about that for a second. It could be any one of us who comes away from a car accident or an illness with some kind of label slapped on us.

    Also -- somewhat off-topic -- someone in this thread (with good intentions) used the term "wheelchair-bound." But consider this: A person in a wheelchair relies on that wheelchair as his or her primary transportation, and some people in wheelchairs play basketball and run marathons. Many people in wheelchairs feel that they are not "bound" to that wheelchair, but liberated by it! It's all in your perception.

    So it is a bit complicated, and people can be offended, and the original question is a very good one that shows a lot of compassion and integrity.

    What we call "disability" is absolutely inevitable if you simply live long enough, so it shouldn't be so hard to imagine what we would prefer if we found ourselves unable to see or use a keyboard, for example. But many of us think we're immune or immortal until proved otherwise. Trust me, we're not.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Enthusiast EveryoneCollects's Avatar
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    Hearing impaired. Visually Impaired. These are factual descriptions that are widely accepted and used by the bulk of society. But I tend to agree that most people who suffer some kind of disability would prefer to be treated like anyone else, and that they will use your site, and indeed your products, provided they do the job. You don't need to worry about offending people, just treat everyone with the same respect and courtesy, and you'll be fine.

    Andy.

  9. #34
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    From the latest article at webcredible

    7. Don't worry too much about accessibility statements

    Many websites attempting to offer great accessibility create lengthy and what they believe to be helpful accessibility statements. Typically these pages contain information on the accessibility features of the website, how to resize the text etc.

    In reality, disabled web users very rarely look at accessibility statements. As web users we don't tend to consult 'help' guides on any site - rather, we stumble along attempting to complete our goals. Although there's nothing wrong with making an accessibility statement page there's no need to spend too much time on it as it won't really be used.
    I'd suggest that taking the time to write an accessibility statement and display it on your site is worth it. Think of it as a 'customer service' statement that shows your company has considered this issue seriously and taken appropriate steps to ensure the site is accessible.

    In the quote from Webcredible above, the assumption seems to be that accessibility statements are aimed at providing extra information to disabled users arriving on a site. You could look at it differently and see it as a positive statement of your company's general attitude to inclusivity, which is applicable to anyone using your site regardless of disability or otherwise.
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  10. #35
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    Question Names ...

    I am a disabled person and I agree with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post

    But that said - why mention it at all?!
    Just make your site accessible and if it is browsed by a person with a disability then they will be catered for.
    I never saw the need to mention any disability at all. Why can't we just say, "This website is designed to be accessible for all. If you have problems using it, Contact me."
    chyann
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by chyann View Post
    I am a disabled person and I agree with this:

    I never saw the need to mention any disability at all. Why can't we just say, "This website is designed to be accessible for all. If you have problems using it, Contact me."
    Good advice. Far better to do it than to talk about it, anyway.

  12. #37
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  13. #38
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    ^ maybe it's cause I'm not British but I had trouble understanding some text on that site.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chyann View Post
    I am a disabled person and I agree with this:



    I never saw the need to mention any disability at all. Why can't we just say, "This website is designed to be accessible for all. If you have problems using it, Contact me."
    I am also of this position. Why not use sensible descriptions to explain each functionality without relating to the disability its aimed at.

    "This site has been designed to be accessible to all our users. Extra functionality includes variable type size, high contrast views and extra meta information for multimedia content.

    If you have any questions or suggestions on improving our site's accessibility, please contact me (link to email or form)"

    There is also room to add icons or indicators showing where each of these tools are located in the site and how they operate.
    I'd also be inclined to mention other tools such as Access keys, tab indexes or shortcut keys that are available to the user.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say anything. When someone with an impairment uses your accessible website, they'll know whether you made the site work for them or not. Accessible websites speak for themselves.

  16. #41
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    These 2 posts say it best to me.
    'user', 'visitor', 'guest'.
    I wouldn't say anything. When someone with an impairment uses your accessible website, they'll know whether you made the site work for them or not. Accessible websites speak for themselves.
    Thats it, thats what they are.

    An accessable site is not a usable site anyway. Just because you conform to online standards really means jack.

    Your site can have nice alt text, none JS links, nice contrast but can it keep some one with AHSD entertained and able to use your site?
    Can it conform to a brail display?
    What about someone who surfs the internet via sucking and sipping a straw?
    Does it have skip/jump navigation on the page?
    Are unnesercary alt's empty?
    Do you have flash thats useable and not just accessable?
    Have you heard your site through a screen reader?
    Have you heard your site through all the screen readers, they are all different and cost a few thousand dollars. They are not free.
    Can you use it just with the keyboard only?
    Do you have Hx tag navigation?

    Where is this termanology going to be placed any way? in the footer?
    In which case the people who are going to care, blind etc... already know as they had to sit through you content if you are talking about coding accessabiltiy.

    Also bare in mind the average time a user actual views a page is less than 15 secs, most wont even notice, even if they do I don't think they will care as it is not suited to what they want, information that you have. We could also go into extra code bloat, depending how much of a puriest you are that is useless, minor eroding effect on keyword prominance and a hinderance to people with disabilities in the first place.

    They are the same as me or you, they are a human being, call them that they may actuall thank you for it.

    Jaza

  17. #42
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    Some web developers include special tools on the website designed to help people with certain difficulties, on occasions those people may need to be informed that the tools are there. In that situation you need to be able to refer to people with a particular need in a polite, non-offensive way.

    That is one example of when you may need to refer to people with particular needs.

    This thread is supposed to gather opinions to help developers who do need to refer to a particular group of people who have particular needs.

    Thanks ro0bear

  18. #43
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    No granted, I'm one of them I've built myself several tools/enhancements. I take accessability very seriously. The differnce is my tools and enchanments ,they are not the same thing, do not require an explanation on thier use. They are obvious or I have reworked the page to be accessable from the off.

    There is not one thing that cant be re-worked to require it not to have it. By doing so you are creating a more accessable site. Tools that need explaining can be misinterpreted if they are that complicated to need an explanation in the first place.

    This brings in the point again it needs to be useable to people with disabilities. A website doesn't need tools to help people with disabilties if the site is designed well in the first place, that said tools that enhance their visit should be built to be obvious and unobtrusive.

    Nowhere does it require you to have a tool to pass vaildation, in fact has Jim Thacther, chairman of the select commitee of 501, said a site must have tools to be useable, I am unaware he has.

    A good site should be obvious to people what it is and how to use it, that includes people with disabilties.

    If they need to be told how to use the site, or how to "see" content in a particular way stick it at the top next to the wording accessability.

    But to be honest I would redisgn the site to remove the friction that that causes anyway. That just shows bad planning from the start and not enough knowledge of how people with disabilites use your site.

    Prime example - People with bad eyesite, they have a disability, you can create a "tool" (personally thats useability not a tool) for increasing the text size stick it next to text size: then have bigger diagrams for the bigger text sizes.

    See what I did I told the site visitor what it did and didn't have to call him/her a name in the process. It's obvious. Ok granted it not technically a tool depending on how you do it but it is possible to create it into 1. I wouldn't because that is the better option.

    Proper use of Hx navigation, again means you can get out of using a tool if done right.

    Skip to navigation done well again doesn't require you to design a tool but makes your site accessable.

    Proper use of unobtursive Javascript again can take out the need for tools.

    Tools are a cop out of not thinking about the underlying problem and hacking through it. Prime example a captch doesn't need to be image based it can be audio or simple math whats 1+2? Please fill it in the box below.

    I don't need to create a link saying if you have a disability and are unable to use our site please click here. I redisgned the problem to fit a more manadable solution. Again no need for name calling as I thought about the issue.

    If you need them anyway for AJAX generated content for example or a piece of the page that changes onclick, they should be blantant in how to use them and the page shouldn't relie on it. The content should be avaialbe w/o them, Jim thacther for 1 advocates that and he wrote the first screen reader back before the net.

    Jaza


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