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Re: Format for addressing grade-level content........

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 15:19:25 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Cc: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 01:27 PM 7/30/2001 , Anne Pemberton wrote:
>         It's tough to put a reading level on single words or phrases that are not part of a large body of sentences and paragraphs, because much of the complexity of reading is in the whole, rather than the parts, of the passage.

That's what I thought.  I'm not sure that the solution outlined
before -- using a Reef-style transformation to add UI components
for definitions of "hard" words -- will actually work, at least
not in the near future.  (It may be possible to do something which
sorta works and provides benefit, though.)

Looking at this in terms of Reef EveryWare's capabilities, I think
the approach I would choose would be to require the author (or "an
author") to supply alternative text content if they wish to deliver
a "reading level"-based transformation.  It's hard to conceive of a
way to automatically generate a "lower grade version" of textual

I would suggest that a better solution is simply to forgo the idea
of making "transformable interfaces" and instead just write to a
simpler "grade level".  This can be accomplished through simply
writing -well-, as well as linking in appropriate explanatory text
and sidebars as needed.  Thus you won't need to do any textual
content transformation, since it -all- should be "as accessible as
we can make it."


PS:  I think "grade level" as a measure of writing and reading skills
      is a bad idea.  Linkage to specific "grades" in elementary school
      can easily turn off an educated web developer; the danger is in
      seeming like we are asking them to "dumb down" their words "for
      stupid people".  In truth, it takes more "smarts" to write something
      so that EVERYONE can understand it, and clearer, lower-level writing
      is a benefit to all, not just specific audiences.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Monday, 30 July 2001 18:20:34 UTC

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