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Re: graphics generally complement, not replace, text

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 20:30:35 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
	Thanks for the thoughtful response.

At 02:04 PM 3/17/2000 -0500, Al Gilman wrote:
>Text on the other
>hand, has multiple competing implementations of transformation to sound.
>In this case, there is a case for why the text strictly by itself should
>cover the bases and tell the essence of the story.  

Consider the users of WebTV and tv cable delivered web services. Is there a
capability to add speech to these services? If not, these is a segment of
the audience, which includes disabled folks including, in my personal
circle of folks, those who have learning disabilities identified as dyslexia. 

>few users need to go to a "no words" setting in their personal preferences.  

Not just because of severe cognitive disabilities but because the objective
is graphic content... There are times even when *I* surf, when I'd like to
have that capability because I'm searching for sites for pre-readers, and
often use the graphics of a site but not the text. If a site has no
graphics, it has no use. In that state objectives for Kids K-2 (age 5-8) in
VA, there is an emphasis on learning to "identify" famous persons, symbols
of our nation and state, and representations of ancient cultures, finding
the graphics of these people, animals, flags, flowers, temples, pyramids,
etc., has been occupying a lot of my "surfing" time... It is easier to find
graphics of commercial stuff (like Cat In The Hat) than stuff that is part
of the academic curriculum of young learners ... but I haven't looked in
all corners yet! In any event, there are commonalities (you can't
over-generalize) between pre-readers and segments of the cognitively
disabled community. Last year I worked with a homebound girl whose mother
stayed in school in special ed til 7th grade and remembers she "has a 2nd
grade education"... but she is on web-tv, chats mostly ... so despite the
low scores when young, she can make use of text at a certain level and
finds folks to chat with on that level. She wasn't surfing, it was too
complex. Admittedly, I don't know what's happening a year later, if her
daughter who got excited about printing out web pages at my house to make
her last papers in high school, taught her mother ... 

Graphics need not replace text, except for those unique individuals who
cannot use speech but know a symbolic language, including some deaf
persons.  but be illustrative of the content of the text - the main idea,
theme, etc. and details if appropriate/available/etc. It needs to be an
equivalent (conveying the general content, such as an alt tag does, tho it
may be highly illustrative and function like a long desc). 





Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Friday, 17 March 2000 21:17:23 UTC

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