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How can we better accommodate learning disabilities?

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 16:17:11 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19990301161709.01508bc0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "jonathan chetwynd" <jay@peepo.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Jonathan,

Re your comment

>Have you tried to search by listening, rather than watching, say TV, it
>takes a looong time.

Good point!  It makes  me wonder what else we can do to accommodate people
with learning disabilities or other disbilities that impair reading.

For example, supposing we have a page that a non-reader is browsing with a
text to speech program... would it help to have a tool that inserts certain
icons at important places... e.g. the link to the home page (deduced
heuristically)?

Do people with learning disabilities have any difficulties knowing where to
click in elaborate pictorial image maps?  (Frankly, it isn't always obvious
to me until I move the mouse around to search, and I don't have a learning
or visual disability).  If so, would some tool help, e.g. a tool that
highlights where to click?  

Would tools that shut off blinking animations  help with some learning
disabilities?

Or a tool that breaks down the page into small sections and presents them
one at a time, guided by various logical ways of grouping built into HTML 4
 (span etc.) (or as a fallback, by table cells used for layout)

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head.  Are there other tools
that might help?

Len

p.s.

The guidelines group is now is last call for reviewing the guidelines
(http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH-19990226/) and I hope you're
taking a close look and sending your comments to w3c-wai-gl@w3.org .
-------
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
kasday@acm.org        
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 16:16:02 GMT

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