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Re: Text equivalents

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <jay@peepo.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 17:10:26 -0000
Message-ID: <005a01bf8ea2$9cd95c40$09459fd4@myworkstation>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Nir Dagan" <nir@nirdagan.com>
The very simple answer to this 'reasonable cost' argument is that not
everything needs to be available for cognitive diffficulties.

One transparent page in a thousand would be a huge advance.
Linking suitable sites, both actually as in webrings, and via meta tags will
provide more than a magnitude in improvement.

It would in the main benefit producers as it forces them to clarify their


Jonathan Chetwynd
special needs teacher and
web accessibility consultant.
----- Original Message -----
From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2000 1:24 AM
Subject: Re: Text equivalents

> At 09:58 AM 3/14/00 -0500, Anne Pemberton wrote:
> >
> > When I kept reading and re-reading the first guideline, it seemed to me
> >that the answer of "How to do it" was right there in the guideline.
> >round out the guideline to include everything. If there is to be a text
> >alternative to audio, then audio is an alternative to text. Likewise,
> >graphics/illustrations, which require a text alternative, can be the
> >alternative to text. Video or multi-media is also an alternative to text
> >that is widely used (in the form of TV) by those who cannot process text.
> As I see it the principles of the guidelines are these:
> 1. Make your site with universal design:
>      1.1 separate content/structure from presentation to allow the client
>          to choose the optimal presentation.
>      1.2 If the above cannot be accomplished provide alternatives
> 2. Use *existing* technologies/specifications,
>    and study technologies that are in preparation and will be available
> The second thing is important because we want content providers to
> actually *implement* the guidelines on their sites. Thus, the cost of
> implementation must be reasonable. A good example of an existing cheap
> technology is HTML, with T standing for text. The guidelines teach content
> providers to use text more efficiently, that is, with the same cost make a
> accessible site.
> With your proposals:
> 1. Creating audio/video/graphic equivalents to text we have:
>    1.1 Design cost are of a similar magnitude of serving a site in
multiple languages.
>      In theory this can be done with a language transforming style sheet,
>      our understanding of languages is still not good enough to develop a
style sheet to
>      do that. Also converting text to a sequence of illustrations still
requires an artist, and cannot be done even with DSSSL style sheet.
>    1.2 The actual serving of multimedia in reasonable response time in
extremely costly.
>         What I can serve in a 25 dollars a month virtually hosted account
of text
>         and "normal" quantity of graphics will require a 500 dollar a
month dedicated
>         server to serve in audio/video/heavy graphics.
> My last remark is that not only people with learning disabilities need
> audio rather than text, but also many visually impaired do, but the
> transformation is done by the client, not by the content provider.
> Many things will be cheaper in the future, e.g. vector graphics are more
> and can do some animation that now require a short video clip. But the WAI
is aware
> of these developments and is working to include all practically
implementable technologies.
> When automatic translation of a site to a simpler language or to a
sequence of images will
> be cost effective, WAI will probably adopt it.
> Regards,
> Nir.
> ===================================
> Nir Dagan
> Assistant Professor of Economics
> Brown University
> Providence, RI
> http://www.nirdagan.com
> mailto:nir@nirdagan.com
> tel:+1-401-863-2145
Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2000 12:22:17 UTC

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