From an interview with Google’s (formerly IBM’s) T.V. Raman, located at an unpermalinked address:

Dr. Raman: […] We are building up a team of world-class engineers to improve the accessibility of our cutting-edge products to those individuals with disabilities.

They got three people tops.

I[n] addition our engineers act as accessibility advocates to ensure Google products are built with accessibility in mind.

And they have no clout whatsoever to stop a “product” from launching if it’s inaccessible. Quick: Does the My Maps feature of Google Maps, launched last week, work if you can’t use a mouse?

When I came to Google a year and a half ago, I started working with users who could not see. One of our engineers at Google is working with the deaf community on captioning for Google Video.

  • The deaf guy’s job is not general Google accessibility. At best it’s a secondment of his true job.
  • “The deaf community” cannot “work” on captioning; they’re the ones who need it.
  • Raman and the deaf guy are two of the three people. Loretta Guarino Reid is the third (she got the job Google itself did not understand), and for all I know Pilgrim might be helping out, though I don’t see how much a technical writer could do here.

As we build the team with accessibility engineers, we plan to expand our outreach to include other groups who can work with us on our product development.

We’re richer than God, but we’re gonna ask nonprofits and individual disabled people to do our work for us. Sort of like “working with the deaf community on captioning.”

Sorry, but I continue to call bullshit. I’ll believe Google is serious about accessibility when I see it. I don’t see it, and, if you’re honest, you don’t either.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.04.09 17:15. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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