Late reaction post

So we had these accessibility/disability readings.

http://www.technorhetoric.net/18.1/coverweb/yergeau-et-al/pages/index.html,

http://www.newmobility.com/2009/08/why-does-facebook-matter/,

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/business/media/21captions.html?scp=1&sq=closed%20captioning&st=cse&_r=1&,

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/14/disabilities-groups-technology-accessibility/2453235/

Well, I have really nothing inspiring to write about these things.

I think, on the one hand, that disabled people should have the same access to information that any other person does. This leads me to say how abysmal it is that regular people have such limited access to a lot of information; how much worse for the disabled, who often have an even more limited scope of information to access. But, uh, I don’t think there’s anything particularly debatable about this stance. Disabled peoples should have the same ability to access information as any other person.

But, I think that there might be a distinction to be made between informative content and artistic content. By necessity, some forms of art are not accessible to certain peoples; visual art to the blind, music to the deaf. I think that those using new media for artistic expression, a medium where accessibility has become a major, major discussion, might be exempt from these concerns about accessibility. After all, we don’t tell the musician to make sure he has a non-audible version of his work for the deaf. That’d be mental. With that said, I will conclude by saying that I don’t think those groups that implore new media users to make their content accessible to all should stick to their guns in every instance. Obviously, if someone’s work is a visual representation of a concept, then a visually impaired audience could simply not experience the artistic value of the work, and no amount of accessibility-ing will change that. That’s not to say that artists shouldn’t strive for accessibility, but I do say it to give them some leeway.

Like I said, I didn’t really have a super strong point to make this week. These articles were really informative, but I can’t find myself too absorbed into the discussion. I think new media’s ability to assist the disabled in promoting a more functional, more connected lifestyle is commendable, but I can’t offer significant insight into how effective or ineffective it is in doing so, nor can I offer advice on how to make it better. I also think our ability to make information more accessible to more people is, in fact, one of the greatest aspects of new media. So I’ll leave it at that.

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