Accessibility / Barrierefreiheit

Jeremy Keith of Adactio went to Berlin last December for the BIENE website accessibility awards and wondered about the German language, under the heading ‘The language of accessibility’:

… I was thinking about the German word being used to describe accessibility: “Barrierefreiheit”, literally “free from obstacles.” It’s a good word, but because it’s describes websites by what they don’’t contain (obstacles), it leads to a different way of thinking about the topic.
In English, it’’s relatively easy to qualify the word “accessible.” We can talk about sites being “quite accessible”, “fairly accessible”, or “very accessible”. But if you define accessibility as a lack of obstacles, then as long as a single obstacle remains in place it’s hard to use the word “barrierefrei” as an adjective. The term is too binary; black or white; yes or no.

This also relates to the fact that creating an accessible website is not such a problem as keeping it accessible, and ensuring a client has an accessible website is not a question of expensive extras, but of fewer extras.

He was also a bit concerned that he might have offended jury members by calling them all du (I presume not).

(Transblawg is a not a barrier-free website)

LATER NOTE: Transblawg may well be more barrier-free since its move to Serendipity.

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