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Re: alternative content for cognitive disabilities

From: Paul Bohman <paulb@cpd2.usu.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 17:24:34 -0600
Message-ID: <020f01c0c9f1$0f5342b0$20117b81@paul>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
In response to your statement:

<quote>The problem with putting it in metadata is that it needs to be part
of the
basic presentation of the page content. The basic visual presentation and
the basic speech reader presentation. <end quote>

When you're talking about the needs of those with cognitive impairments,
you're absolutely right, unless there is a setting in the browser which has
an option to "turn on page summaries" or something similar, which would make
it an option to show such summaries at all.

With regard to the "needs" or _perceived_ needs of web developers and
organizations, however, there may be points of conflict, with regard to
visual appeal of a web site or the need for brevity, or some other real or
perceived need. In fact, there may be discrepancies in other regards too.
For example, users of screen readers often complain of too much content on a
page, or too many links or too much redundancy that they have to listen to.
When you add another type of redundancy, you may in fact confuse the user of
screen reader software (or at least take up his time), and you might confuse
a visual user as well, if the page summary is not handled well in the visual
layout.

In a sense, I am playing devil's advocate here. I'm arguing these points not
because I want to squelch the idea of accommodations for those with
cognitive impairments, but because I want to end up with a good set of
guidelines that is as inclusive as possible for those with disabilities, but
which is also equally inclusive of those without disabilities.

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind (www.webaim.org)
Center for Persons with Disabilities (www.cpd.usu.edu)
Utah State University (www.usu.edu)
Received on Friday, 20 April 2001 19:23:47 GMT

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