W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > March 1999

RE: How can we better accommodate learning disabilities?

From: David Clark <dmclark@cast.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 11:00:05 -0500
To: "'Leonard R. Kasday'" <kasday@acm.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001201be64c5$be871010$ca557392@dmc.cast.org>

See, this is the struggle I have with this group. I think we are spending
too much time on the '"R" and not enough time on the "E".

By focusing on the repair tool, we are putting the onus the user or a third
party to try to guess what the author is trying to communicate. If we pay a
little more attention to evaluation, we can give authors feedback on how to
express themselves in multiple, and therefore inclusive, ways. There is
rarely a one to one correspondence between the same information presented in
different modalities, which is why I do not think it can be automated with a

David Clark
CAST, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Leonard R. Kasday [mailto:kasday@acm.org]
Sent:	Tuesday, March 02, 1999 10:27 AM
To:	David Clark
Cc:	w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Subject:	RE: How can we better accommodate learning disabilities?

>I have been cringing at this discussion equating LD with low intelligence.
>In fact, as Len points out, LD is defined as disparities between overall
>intelligence and performance in specific areas.
>The solution? The key is redundancy. Just as a site should not be all
>graphics, it shouldn't be all text either. By presenting information in
>multiple formats (text, images, sound, etc) ensures access to the widest
>group of people. It is not about "dumbing down" the material.

Can we translate this into tools?  For example, there are "screen readers"
for people who are not blind but have difficulty reading because of a
learning disability.  These typically highlight text as they read.  For

monologue http://www.firstbyte.davd.com/html/monolog.htm
WYNN http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/wynnibmnews.html
Zoom Text Xtra http://www.aisquared.com/  (actually designed for low vision
but also useful for dyslexia)

Are there problems using these with web pages?  Problems that a tool would

There were suggestions about other accommodations a few emails back at


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
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Tuesday, 2 March 1999 10:55:53 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:01:28 UTC