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RE: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 08:10:51 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: <seeman@netvision.net.il>, "WAI \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

	I've looked at the LD site a few times now, and wonder how it would work
for someone with a learning disability who was seeking the information
provided. There are no graphics on the page to assist with understanding,
and the scrambled letters that make up the headings are difficult to read.
Some of the short descriptions have significant grammar errors that make
understanding even more difficult. The first description indicates that LD
can be prevented in "children", but looking further, indicates the
prevention program is only for infants and toddlers, not "children" in the
typical sense of the word. A graphic of a toddler or infant could go a long
way to make it clear before the user click uselessly, that the prevention
is only for pre-schoolers. 

Seems to me the first concern in designing a web page should be to the
intended audience. Reading the page suggests that the intended audience is
those with learning disabilities, and the page doesn't accommodate those
needs at all. It's fine to decide, after your intended audience's needs are
met, to expand the audience to those with other types of disabilities, but
if doing so shuts out your intended audience, I don't see how it can
"expand" your readership so much as limits it. Many reading/learning
disabilities are characterized by the fact that words and letters that are
properly presented are scrambled when they get inside the head of the one
with the LD, and it's enough of a problem for them to re-space them to
understand them without someone deliberately scrambling and unscrambling
them.  The scrambling words are a cute idea, but, at least in my opinion,
they are inappropriate on a page for people who already have problems with
words scrambling. 

The two lines of small text at the top are easily overlooked by a sighted
user, are probably too small and indistinct to be read by someone with
dyslexia, but if they are replaced by a graphic that can be tagged as "The
association addresses 30 areas of mild disabilities" rather than the
specifics of the text, the real intent is for no one to read this text.
Hence, why is it there at all?

Likewise, why talk about a product that isn't ready for market yet, e.g.
the LD spell checker? Does anyone really believe people bookmark such pages
and come back weeks and months later to see if it has happened yet? If
someone is actually looking for such a product, its more likely they will
look elsewhere and terminate the search if nothing exists yet. 

	My two-cents worth...


At 09:18 AM 9/27/00 +0200, Lisa Seeman wrote:
>We had the same problem with LD last week, and Jason pointed out the issue
>of responsibility, were there are no user against that solve the problem
>then the responsibility of accessibility falls to the web designer.
>Otherwise it is up to the user to find the solution. That is our policy.
>However in the case of minor disabilities, the user will not have researched
>into user agents, her friends will not tell her about new accessibility
>features. Is this the web designers "responsibility" - no, but it would be
>nice (again a subjective word)if s/he facilitated them anyway. The web
>designer may also _want_ to do this, knowing that the more people read this
>sight - the better. If so s/he may want to know _how_ to facilitate them,
>and s/he  may  come to us for help.
>So perhaps there is some call for a priority four, or extra points, were you
>do not have to conform, there is no extra logo for your site, but it is
>"nice" and helpful, even to thoughts who have not helped themselves, as much
>as they could.
>In terms of magnification, again take a look at the fun that I have been
>having with http://www.special-needs-company.com
>accessible version (not that the main site is all that inaccessible) - the
>mouse on text magnification effect. Installing a script like that solves
>some of the large font / small font problem.
>Finally I think that there are many times when text is used instead of a
>graphic, I.E.: to be seen but not read, and it _detracts_ from
>accessibility. (Again see the text at the top of
>http://www.special-needs-company.com for an example). If their list of all
>possible areas of operations were read to someone, that person would give up
>on the sit before getting to the main content of the page. If the text at
>the top of special-needs had been a graphic, the alt tag could simply state
>"we are active in many different areas of mild disabilities" I think that
>would have been more helpful for someone using assistive technology, then
>hearing thirty different areas of operations.
>So maybe the guideline could state something like "were text can  contribute
>to the understanding or navigation of the site, it should be presented as
>text and not in a graphical format." That would disqualify logos and other
>such "graphical" types text.
>Thanks for reading this far,
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Leonard R. Kasday
>Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 9:31 PM
>To: Kynn Bartlett; Poehlman, David; 'Kynn Bartlett'; Charles
>Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org; WAI ER group; WAI UA group
>Subject: RE: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant
>It's not merely a question of people choosing to not emply assistive
>technology out of whim or stubborness.
>Assistive technology may not produce as good a solution as accessibility
>built into the web page, as I noted when I talked about problems with
>magnifiers.  Don't get me wrong: magnfiers can be invaluable tools, and
>some people will need them no matter what is done with the web page.  And
>people need them when the web page hasn't built in the accessibility.  But
>they aren't as effective as being able to simply magnify the text.  That's
>why real text should be used everywhere, unless there's a really good
>reason, e.g. company logos.
>At 10:35 AM 9/26/00 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>>At 1:28 PM -0400 9/26/00, Poehlman, David wrote:
>>>I explained this in the message.  what I disagree with is that the text
>>>be small.  some people have low enough vision that they need larger text
>>>not use assistives to achieve it.
>>Aha, okay.  So you are arguing that web designers have to account for
>>people who need assistive technology, could benefit from assistive
>>technology, may even have access to assistive technology (such as
>>the screen magnifier in Windows), but who choose not to employ it?
>>That's a very dangerous argument to propose, you realize...  I argue
>>that there are ways for those users who need larger text to get the
>>larger text without requiring that web designers _remove_ their
>>graphical text images.  The implications of placing the burden on the
>>web designer instead of on the user are that unreasonable expectations
>>are asked of the designer, and she is unable to reasonably comply with
>>those requirements.  Thus, she ignores them.
>>Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
>Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple
>(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org
>Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
>The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:
Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Wednesday, 27 September 2000 07:23:47 UTC

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