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How People with Disabilities Use the Web

From: Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 16:51:19 -0700
Message-ID: <000c01c4ad91$b5e36ba0$6401a8c0@wayneuxn7nxx68>
To: "EOWG" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Maybe this could go into future releases.

Lots of people with low vision (partially sighted) use the web to read. 
With the growth of online manazines, newspapers and books (limited), reading 
is now possible with reasonable websites.  Search enginer, and bibliographic 
search tools now replace old carde catalogs and bibliographic reference 
books.  When they are accessible these search tools make intillectual 
research (amature or professional) possible.

For people with low vision, the print and paper exposition is the most 
inaccessible medium around.  These inaccessible writings used to reside in a 
hostile environment called a library.  Libraries used to have horrible 
things called card catelogs.  Today some of these barriers have been 
replaced by web based resources.

One friend had given up on reading because of a cetral retina deterioration. 
With appropirate adjustment of his interface, he now reads again.  Dr. X, I 
will call him was the Chancellor of an R1 University system prior to his 
vision loss.  When I met him he was still the Vice President of the 
Development Division of his University.  He really missed reading.

The simple fact is that the web is the single best hope for visually 
impaired individuals to read.  For many the leap to graphical domination of 
the medium was heartbreaking.  Many people with visual impairments thought 
that with the web, normal reading was within reach.  The growth of 
inaccessible technologies that tend to reproduce the print and paper page 
with bits rather than ink have pushed this dream further away. 
Received on Friday, 8 October 2004 23:51:48 GMT

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