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Using the Web to read.

From: Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 10:32:16 -0800
Message-ID: <41C32630.3030406@csulb.edu>
To: "EOWG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>


To Everyone,

Here is a topic of interest to me.

Like many others in this group, I use the web primarily to read. 

For example, the National Library for the Blind and Physically 
Handicapped and Recordings for the Blind (USA) do have one fairly poor 
recording of "The Souls of Black Folk", W.E.B Dubouis.  I am generally 
tollerent of poor recordings out of gratitude, but this one was really 
difficult.  Since this book was published in 1904 by the founder of the 
NAACP anyone would like the opportunity to read it.  Well with  
Bookshare.org, I now have a copy I can read.

w3c is the only reason I know about the Web.  Almost everything I know 
about the web comes from w3c technical reports.  Why?  Because they are 
in a format I can read.  Maybe others don't like the format of the w3c 
site because it looks boring, but I like it better than anything.  For 
me it is the easiest thing in the world to read.

Sometimes I think that web accessibility discussions focus on fancy 
features, and don't get at one of the big reasons people with 
disabilities use the web:  to read.

Once I listened to a very interesting psychological article in JVIB that 
discussed why visually impaired people have difficulty with quantative 
disciplines.  I thought the author made some very interesting points 
about difficulticies with visualition of spacial relationships, but I 
also thought that the lack of a single Calculus book in large print 
might have more to do with the problem.

The web has created the most unique opertunity for accessiblity in 
history when it comes to reading.  Separation of content from 
presentation means literature can be retargeted to any format, and print 
handicapps are simply a curable impairment that only exists because 
society as a whole does not  have the will to fix it.

Being a happy middle aged professor as opposed to an incindiary young 
trouble maker, I would like to address this issue with a polite EO paper 
on How People with Disabilities Use the Web to Read and how the 
structure of well designed markup creates the first opportunity in 
history to cure print handicapps completely.

So, is there any interest in this?


Enjoy the Break, Wayne
Received on Friday, 17 December 2004 18:33:03 GMT

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