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fwd: Alternative access techniques

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 20:21:31 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
I'm forwarding Alan's message to the list, as it looks like it was intended
for the list.

- Judy

>Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 13:53:54 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Alan Cantor <acantor@oise.utoronto.ca>
>To: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
>Subject: Alternative access techniques
>Hello EOWG members,
>Here are a few notes on alternative access techniques. I will not be able
>to attend Friday's meeting... I will be in Ottawa doing a presentation
>that morning.
>- Many people with disabilties use alternative access techniques and/or
>assistive technologies when using the Web. 
>- Alternative access techniques refer to the different ways that someone
>can use a computer.
>- A very common alternative access strategy is keyboard-only techniques,
>i.e., using the computer without the mouse. Keyboard-only techniques are
>indispensible for people who are blind, have certain kinds of mobility
>impairments, and who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries. The
>methods are also useful to people with low-vision, certain learning
>disabilities, "power-users," and individuals whose mouse is broken or who
>use laptop PCs with awkward mouse emulators.
>- Many alternative access techniques are supported by the operating
>systems and its applications. For example, in both Windows and Java the
>F10 key puts focus on the menu bar. To open a menu, press F10, then press
>the underlined letter (e.g., F for File, E for Edit) or navigate to the
>menu with the left or right arrow keys.
>- Other alternative access techniques require the intallation of
>third-party software or add-ins. For example, on the Macintosh, menu
>selection via the keyboard usually requires special software.
>- Macro and key remapping software make possible custom alternative access
>techniques. Writing macros and assigning them to keys/making custom
>toolbars are ways that people with disabilties can use poorly-designed or
>visually-oriented browsers more efficiently. For example, a user with an
>upper-body mobility impairment might use macro software to define a single
>key (say F12) to send the "Tab" key five times as a way to quicken
>browsing of long pages.
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 17 September 1999 01:50:16 UTC

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