It was a moment that is quickly becoming legendary in certain web design circles. The first of many accessibility panels at the 2004 SXSW Interactive conference was well underway when Jeffrey Veen stepped onto the stage just as it was his turn to present. Unexpected travel delays had prevented him from arriving on time for the Accessibility is For Everyone session. As a result, Veen missed the initial presentations by a panel of noted accessibility experts and appeared to walk into the room cold to deliver his portion of the session.
Against a backdrop of hyper sensitivity to accessibility issues Veen steps up and announces, “I don’t care about accessibility.” Veen’s proclamation was met with a few nervous chuckles followed by an uncomfortable moment of silence before he began to build his case.