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RE: Seamless Accessibility

From: Kasday, Leonard R (Len), ALTEC <kasday@att.com>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 08:42:45 -0400
Message-Id: <199805261241.IAA03233@njb140r1.ems.att.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "'Liam Quinn'" <liam@htmlhelp.com>

	>>	LRK:: If you provide a seamless page with the option of
	>>the visual aspects, how does that hurt the accessibility and
usability of
	>>the web?

	> LQ::  It doesn't.  That's why I've been arguing for it.  I'm just
	> with those who would rather force the visual descriptions on
everyone (or
	> at least on all non-visual users).


	I agree that they shouldn't be forced on anyone also.  I think we're
in agreement, then, that people should have option to see descriptions but
not be forced to see them.

	What had bothered me was the impression I got that blind people were
being told they shouldn't want the description.    Maybe I was
misinterpreting, e.g. in my reaction to the comment about "frills".   If
that's not what anyone intended, there's no more issue here.

	>There is no dubbing required for presenting a Web page seamlessly
	> non-visual environments.  The point of seamless accessibility is
that the
	> page adjusts naturally to all browsing environments.  The
non-English film
	> dubbed into English is not seamless.

Yes it isn't seamless.  But I'm saying that there are some web pages that
cannot be made seamless.

I agree that many, perhaps most of today's web pages can be made seamless.
This is especially true for pages which are really text with superfluous,
often banal images just tacked on.  For these pages, I think the seamless
philosophy is a very good idea.  In fact, I as a sighted user would gladly
choose the non visual versions.

But some pages really do have visual content that needs to be described.
For example, in the near future movies will be part web content, and audio
description will be needed.

Or, to take another example,  suppose someone's personal web page used
flowers for bullet lists,  intertwined vines for horizontal dividers, and a
background colored subtly in according to the foliage of the current season
where she lived.  Those visuals would give me a feel for the person that
would go beyond the textual information (e.g. "Karen's home page... here's
my favorite links... here's my resume... etc).    It would  say something
about the person that she would use that style for her web page, and I don't
see any way of making a seamless translation that doesn't lose something.
In a case like that, you've just got to describe the images to give the full
feel of the page and the person behind the page.

Anyway, that's how I feel.  But really, how I feel or how any other sighted
person feels about this is irrelevant.  The only relevant thing is that
there are some people who are blind or have low vision want the
descriptions, and therefore they ought to have the option to get them, while
not be forced to do so.  I think everyone would agree with that?


Leonard R. Kasday
kasday@att.com (until June 30)
(609) 231-0229
Received on Tuesday, 26 May 1998 08:43:02 UTC

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