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"Sensory modality" in English

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 12:26:00 -0400
Message-Id: <200007161625.MAA2022652@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: "Marti" <marti47@MEDIAONE.NET>, "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 10:58 AM 2000-07-16 -0400, Marti wrote:

>Greg's suggestion about "sensory modality" was good but leads us back to the
>problem of needing to interpret the language (say that again in English
>please).

To say this in plainer, more universally accessible language it takes more
words.

[analysis or homework, not plain statement:]

The situation that has to be avoided is the following:  Some information is
only available to the user and the user's software in a form or forms which
depend on a unique sense: sight, hearing, touch, etc.  The goal is that for
all information the user has options as to what sense is used to receive
the information at the Human-to-Computer interface.  [Ditto for commands
and actuation means.]

So the key words are:

- sense, as in sight, hearing, smell, etc.

- dependency, a necessary requirement

- unique, only one.

I hope those ideas are sufficiently broadly understood so we can base our
explanation on them.  If this is true, then the statement of the principle
could run something like the following:

[attempt at broadly accessible statement a.k.a. plain English:]

The data available to the user representing any particular information
should not all be dependent on one sense (vision, hearing, etc.) for
presentation to the user.  The data used to represent information must
either be compatible with client processing alternatives which present to
different senses, or else data alternatives must be provided which can be
presented to different senses.  

Note: where the data provided to the user depends on client processing to
reach the respective senses discussed above, this processing must be
readily available to the user.

Al
Received on Sunday, 16 July 2000 12:22:14 GMT

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