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Re: [QUES] how to make forms more accessible.

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 08:49:45 -0500
Message-Id: <199903291346.IAA191912@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: Mark Andrew Nassy <nassy@flash.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 02:16 PM 3/28/99 -0500, Mark Andrew Nassy wrote:
>does anyone have any suggestions, or know how to make forms accessible to
>web browsers etc that do not support <form> </form> tag.  i may have
>overlooked it, but i was unable to locate any information on the
>
><URL:http://www.w3.org/> web site.

As far as I know, this is a situation which is best handled under the "tell
the user how else they can access the same service" technique.  Telephone
and email methods of conducting a transaction are often convenient for some
users who find Web forms inconvenient.

For an example, the "Accessible Formats" clause on

How to Participate In the FCC Process: How to Tell Your NOIs from Your NPRMs


http://www.fcc.gov/dtf/knownoi.html

reads as follows:

   Accessible Formats
   The Commission will provide documents in accessible formats, upon
       request. Accessible formats available are: computer diskette,
       large print, audio cassette, and Braille. Additionally, all
       Commission items are posted on the Internet site:
       http://www.fcc.gov. All items that affect persons with
       disabilities are posted on the FCC's Disabilities Issues Task
       Force site, and can be downloaded, at: http://www.fcc.gov/dtf.
       This site is accessible to persons with disabilities. For requests
       for alternative formats, please contact Martha Contee at (202)
       418-0263 voice, (202) 418-2555 TTY or E-mail: mcontee@fcc.gov.

A browser which does not even recognize the <FORM> element is beyond what
one should try to provide an HTML solution for.

Note that a recent American Foundation for the Blind survey of Windows
users found a very small fraction report success filling out forms.  I
expect this to be representative of the way GUI clients in general
implement Web forms in particular, so at this time it would seem prudent to
provide non-Web alternatives to Web forms if you want to guarantee access
to services for your citizens or customers.  

Business transaction processing, currently addressed by Web forms, is one
of the problem areas we cannot be sure we have completely solved with these
guidelines.

Al

>Mark Andrew Nassy,
><MAILTO:nassy@flash.net>
> 
Received on Monday, 29 March 1999 08:46:20 GMT

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