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Re: GL's acceptance of the necessity of graphics on the web

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 09:57:54 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
Cc: Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Greg and all,

	I have been pretty cranky the past few days, and I apologize to the list
for being less than useful in my remarks/posts. 

At 06:27 AM 3/17/2000 -0500, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>fact...  it isn't a question of whether graphics are necessary, but how 
>best to use them to benefit those who interact most efficaciously with 
>images, whilst making their content and contextual meaning clear to users 
>whose interaction with the web is not visually oriented

Illustrations (etc) as links, followed by the text link.   
An illustration on the opening screen of a page. This helps folks determine
if they want to tackle the text on the page or move on. 

>people still use a phone, even if they have to stand out in the cold and 
>rain to do so via a public telephone...

Hate to share the road with someone using a cell phone ... but, you are
right, and many cognitively disabled folks would probably also choose
telephone over computer, but TV also delivers the web, and TV is also
present in most homes (tho I've never seen anyone stand in the rain to see
a TV!<grin>)

>voice-recognition technology alone ever truly be sufficient?  

If you will indulge me a "slice of life": An LD 10 yo I tutor after school
got a copy of Dragon, and began to set it up to accept her distinct
southern accent. It's not yet something that can be used "on the fly". 

>1. who is to decide what semiotic schema to use in order to provide a 
>non-reader (as defined above) with a purely graphical slash symbolic 
>version of the textual contents of a page?

There seem to be no agreement on a universal symbolic "language" other than
international road signs. Perhaps this can't be accomplished until we have
the capicity to interpret languages "on the fly". But it is possible to ask
authors to illustrate opening screens and links separate from graphics used
for style and design. 

>2. who knows best the needs and cognitive capacity of an individual 
>user?  my answer to this question is the individual user -- and, perhaps, 
>those who interact with that individual, as an individual, and who respect 
>his or her opinions and listen to his or her statement of needs, rather 
>than those who simply quote know what is best unquote for the user, based 
>upon a physical or psychological classification...

My suggestions have come from observing how a (small) number of cognitively
disabled adults and children are using the web, and observing how a larger
number of mixed disabled and not young students are learning to use the
computer and the web. Not based on classification, but on observations of
folks I know, not the least of which is my darling husband. 

Hope I have been more specific. 


Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Friday, 17 March 2000 12:17:02 UTC

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