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Re: Digital Web Magazine - Seven Accessibility Mistakes (Part 1)

From: Anthony Ettinger <aettinger@sdsualumni.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 09:32:45 -0800
Message-ID: <3fc6b2fb0602030932m6377cc54qa48afd3d338573ef@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kynn Bartlett <nextofkynn@gmail.com>
Cc: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, public-evangelist@w3.org
On 2/3/06, Kynn Bartlett <nextofkynn@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/3/06, Anthony Ettinger <aettinger@sdsualumni.org> wrote:
> > i definitely recommend using a screen reader. Those things really do
> work
> > differently than what you expect, at least that was my experience.
> How many hours' experience do you have using a screenreader?
> E.g., are you comfortable in using it as your primary method for net
> access?
> To clarify once again, I am not opposed to people trying out
> screenreaders so their eyes can be opened and they go "oh, look at
> that, it's something new! The world isn't as simple as I thought!"
> But when it comes to actual experience with using one, nothing
> replaces having a skilled user rather than an unskilled user.
> In fact, most developers' experience with screenreaders can give them
> very wrong and inaccurate ideas about that software due to their own
> inability to operate the very complex software.  Unless you invest
> major amounts of time, you will not be able to distinguish errors
> caused by your own unfamiliarity with errors in the page itself, or
> errors in the screenreader software.
> For example, a very telling comment on this page which I just came
> across illustrates one such problem:
> http://www.access-matters.com/2005/07/23/daring-fireball-footnotes/
> "Interesting that the reviewer talks about listening to the page as a
> stream and the difficulty this causes. The only people I've come
> across who ever use a screenreader in this way are developers.  It
> isn't in my experience how VI people use screenreaders.  Happy to be
> contradicted by any screenreader users but it's not what I've seen or
> what I have trained."
> (The original statement was in all capitals, I've cleaned it up here.)
> Developers don't use screenreaders like actual users use
> screenreaders.  To use a screenreader like a visually impaired user,
> you'd likely need to turn off your monitor for at least two weeks
> straight.
> --Kynn
By no means am I suggesting I"m an expert at using screen readers, I'd have
to be blind and using the software on a regular basis. But I did install one
to see what it was like. It took awhile of playing around with it before I
was able to get it to read the text I wanted it to. And that was with my
eyes open.

I'm trying to use it here at work when I get the chance. I'm mainly
interested in reading web sites with it, but the entire window environment
is read out as well. many many options to control the verbosity. Like I
said, the implication like the article states, is that it's not as easy as
one might have thought having never used one.

Anthony Ettinger
Signature: http://chovy.dyndns.org/hcard.html
Received on Friday, 3 February 2006 17:32:49 UTC

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