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

From: Kynn Bartlett <nextofkynn@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 17:26:05 +0000
To: Anthony Ettinger <aettinger@sdsualumni.org>
Message-Id: <99D3B4B8-DF8F-443E-80A9-5215CE4DB96D@gmail.com>
Cc: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, public-evangelist@w3.org



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
Received on Friday, 3 February 2006 22:33:53 GMT

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