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RE: Checkpoint 3.3 Research

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 07:19:24 -0600
To: "WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBJHFEOLAGEICMIMBPGEOACBAA.leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Kynn is absolutely correct.  I should have added a summary to this.
Unfortunately, I did not and was not able to get back to it yesterday.  I'm
including the links again, but this time I'm adding a summary of the
information.

Most of the research that I was able to find led to four findings.
1) Pages should be short (however, most of those pages were at least 3 - 4
pages printed)
2) The information should be in short, digestible chunks - short paragraphs,
short sentences.
3) The information should be presented in an easily scannable manner and the
headings should show levels of content heirarchy.
4) One thought per paragraph and sentence; no complex sentence structure.

One other thing was unique enough to point out.  The article at
http://www.otal.umd.edu/uupractice/cognition/ shows a page set up for the
cognitively challenged.  It explains what groups fall into this category.  I
can imagine a web site would be fraught with difficulty if all the pages
were set up in the manner the top of the page was set up.

After reviewing Lisa's list again, it fills all the requirements mentioned
in all the research I was able to locate.  I could not find any research
that specifically disclosed how individuals with cognitive difficulties used
the Internet.  Some unique information did arise that explained that there
are individuals with cognitive difficulties working in the scientific and
mathematical fields.  Those individuals would be trained to use information
written to the content of scientific and mathematical fields.  Therefore,
one can not assume that the lowest common denominator be singled out when
writing content.

It does follow that the information must be presented using the information
that I provided about how to write and follow Lisa's suggestions of
presentation.  Lowering the content to the lowest common denominator on all
the pages ONLY, removes the credibility of the piece.  My suggestion is to
add an alternate set of pages that the cognitively challenged individuals
can use.

If this is done by a highly visited site and the server records could be
examined it may show how many people with cognitive difficulties access
those pages.  However, it may even show how many people are curious enough
to visit the information in that section.  We can conservatively show that
those page views beyond the first page in the series were used by those with
cognitive difficulties.  It would be a good research project for a college
or research center focusing upon cognitive studies.  Perhaps I gave Trace or
MIT something they could work on.



Below are links to information that I found regarding researh specifics.
http://www.bsu.edu/web/bsuwai/use.htm#Language

http://www.rit.edu/~easi/itd/itdv08n1/cook_gladhart.htm
"Technology Problems and Solutions"
"Web pages divided into segments or frames can confuse software programs
that translate text to voice. Graphics that have not been labeled with text
will be read only as "image" by the software reading the text on the screen
and will deprive students of valuable content. Web pages with a long list of
hyperlinks crowded together can confuse a student with visual, cognitive, or
motor disabilities."

Also, scan down to "Pedagogy Challenges for Students with Learning
Disabilities".

http://www.ala.org/editions/samplers/mates/ch2.html
Interesting point made in this article: Do not underline text.

http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html#clerk

http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html#diff
Scan down to "Cognitive and neurological disabilities"

http://www.otal.umd.edu/uupractice/cognition/

An excellent series:
http://www.humanfactors.com/wording/default.asp

Not as many as how to write correctly, but I'm sure this will help everyone.

Sincerely,
Lee Roberts
President/CEO
Rose Rock Design, Inc.
Building web sites accessible by EVERYONE
http://www.roserockdesign.com
Received on Monday, 11 February 2002 10:17:49 GMT

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