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From: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 21:34:32 -0700
To: "W3c-Wai-Gl@W3.Org (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <003701c24d83$0d86fc80$7200000a@patirsrv.patir.com>

  I spoke to Melingo (finally ) yesterday. I will meet up with them some
time over the next few weeks.

  Info so far:
  User agents.:
  what they call a screen reader ,   is   a program were you have to copy
the text into it and it will read it
  So their screen reader need vision.  single installation NS4000
  the average monthly salaried before tax and health insurance deductions is
about NS5000
  Average salary for a dyslexic is much lower.  Don't ask about other
   I t does not help  completely vision impaired  people

  use of a similar tool on line as a web site exists (so they will not give
us the right to do this) and costs  NS 350 up a month for personal use - if
you use it often it costs more.

  Again you need to copy and paste -it is not a portal.

  Authoring tools for the web owner to vowel the site
  It is a finished product but they do not have a fixed price- depends to
  They have another product, that makes a mp3 of a reading of your page. The
user clicks a button to get the reading. For Peaple who can not read you
then can not tell were in the page to press, Peaple who can not see it is
not useful. It helps low vision .

  According to their head of accessibility, this is based on ten years of
research and is proprietary.

  My summary:

  In terms of helping at the user end  we have two options.
  I can  try to  help Melingo t u rn their "screen reader" into a true
screen reader -  but it will be years until such a product is available.
and will be expensive for the end user.

   Probably the best if slowest solution will be to sponsor research in the
public domain at the Technion. Gregg, can you look into the possibility of
raising financing ?
  Again it will take years for a partial solution.

  Solving the problem from the authors side is immediate and cost effective.
  In other words - It can solve the problem today,   You can add the vowels
for free without their tools in Unicode, you can buy word processor were you
can put in the vowels, and I hope switching a week or two to put up a free
JavaScript tool to make it doable to  by  anyone. Mac come with a similar
  However acknowledging that for a large site this is an enormous amount of
work - they can buy  Nakdan from Melingo.

  The clincher for me is the fact that Nakdan does make mistakes. At the
user end there is nothing to be done but confusion, because you do not know
what the word was meant to be. At the author end you can easily correct your
work using a word processor or free tool.

  Back to the checkpoint:

  I think the wording as it stands:
  'Provide information needed for unambiguous decoding of the characters and
words in the content'

  is perfect- when the  user agent decipher the word correctly, then the
checkpoint has been   fulfilled automatically. When the  user agents portal
are unable to  adds the vowels,   then   clearly not all the information
needed for unambiguous decoding has been   provided, and the responsibility
falls on the web content provider . I am going to put up a site that goes
through these issues from beginning to end. It may help....

   All the best,
  Lisa Seeman

  UnBounded Access

  Widen the World Web

Received on Monday, 26 August 2002 23:36:07 UTC

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