The thing about film critics
How many film critics are there who have actually made a movie?
Film critics are generally respected and their views on a film can make the difference as to whether a film is a box office smash or withers away, losing a pile of cash in the bargain. Of course this isn’t always the case but have you ever stopped to consider how many film critics there are who have actually made a movie themselves? Going to a film school might give you a lot of academic knowledge on the subject but unless you can actually make a movie yourself, I would would argue that your opinion carries less weight because, unless you have experienced the blood, sweat and tears that go into the creative process of filmmaking, you cannot be considered a deep expert on the subject.
What about music critics? Can you think of any music critics who are actually musicians? If you are not a musician, if you do not understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into this creative process, you are just expressing opinions based on what? It is certainly not based on experiential knowledge!
What about book reviewers? How many of them have actually written a novel? They may well have studied literature to a high academic level but if they haven’t actually experienced the creative process themselves, truly knowing the blood, sweat and tears that go into creative writing, their opinion is just that. An opinion.
What about restaurant critics? How many of them have run a restaurant? Surely if you have not gone through the blood, sweat and tears of the creative process of cooking beautiful dishes, how are you in a position to speak with knowledge?
The list goes on and on!
So, what is my point?
OK, it is this. Unless you are an expert in accessible website design, by going through the blood, sweat and tears involved in creating a website that meets the needs of everyone, regardless of their ability or disability, how can you possibly perform an accessibility audit of another website?
Unfortunately, this is what is happening today. Self-proclaimed experts are running automated reports on websites that have little or no value and they are charging inflated fees into the bargain. Accessibility statements are being produced by people with no personal knowledge of accessible web design and they are leaving the website owners vulnerable to litigation and considerably out of pocket at the same time.
When you need to get an accessibility audit of your website and are wondering who to approach, the first question to ask is this: does this person have a proven track record in building accessible websites? It is not about what you say, it is about what you have done that gives you legitimacy.
Book in now for this seminar
If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, book yourself in now for my seminar, next Wednesday, 7th July at 4pm. Follow this link for further information.
Access by Design. Accessible Web Design, Chichester.