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RE: linearized tables

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 08:33:42 -0500
Message-Id: <4.2.2.20000317074651.00cb35e0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: <thatch@us.ibm.com>
Cc: gv@trace.wisc.edu, "'Greg Lowney'" <greglo@microsoft.com>, "'Wendy A Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi Jim,

I'll admit that it can get difficult getting a web developer to read a 
lengthly written prescription.

But with the right tools, it's easier to teach these things than you might 
think.

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I'm finding that a tool I wrote, the WAVE ( 
http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/ ) seems to make it 
easier for people to understand these things by representing the 
accessibility features in a visual way.

(As you might guess, the WAVE, unfortunately, isn't presently helpful to 
blind users, even though it's technically accessible... I'm trying to 
remedy that).

For example, when a page uses tables for layout, the WAVE shows the borders 
of all the table cells, and numbers the cells 1, 2, 3, 4,... so you can see 
the reading order.  It also displays the ALT text next to each image.  This 
kind of display makes the techniques I suggested quicker to understand.

</shameless-advertisement>

So these things are teachable... and I think in the guidelines we should be 
reasonably complete, and use tools and education and outreach to help page 
designers apply the right techniques.

Len
p.s.
Also, for the general public, we may want to avoid this issue of degenerate 
data tables... or at least relegate it to a footnote.  I don't think it 
will even occur to most people that such objects are data tables at all... 
in fact I  didn't notice it till you and Greg pointed it out.

At 10:55 PM 3/16/00 -0600, thatch@us.ibm.com wrote:
>BUT.  Going to the detail that your assessment requires is too much for
>the content guidelines. I think your analysis belongs in an advanced text
>on usability for accessibility. It is impossible to present this kind of
>detail in
>the guideline.  Well obviously it is not impossible. What is impossible is
>that anybody will read it. Web developers don't have the time to go into
>this
>detail.

-------
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122

kasday@acm.org
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday

(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Friday, 17 March 2000 08:42:32 GMT

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