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RE: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Joe Roeder <Jroeder@nib.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 14:32:30 -0400
Message-ID: <0CEE21F72119D31180F4006097B71B000224C6@NIB-NT2>
To: "'wai list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I have followed this thread with interest and while I have nothing to add
regarding the accessibility of content, I have a couple of thoughts about
increasing web accessibility for the graphically oriented.  I do not pretend
to understand all the levels of LD and leave it to others to evaluate the
merits of these ideas.

	One of the reasons that we who are blind had trouble with the web is
that so many of the navigational landmarks were graphical.  This problem was
solved by pointing out the importance of the ALT TEXT attribute at
navigational landmarks to tell us where we are or where this link would take
us.  Some who cannot see an image may still have an interest in having it
described (that is, getting at the content of the image) but for most of us
it is the purpose or function of the image as a navigational landmark that
guides us.

	I think it was Anne who mentioned that her son could not type in a
web address and it seems to me that this is a mirror image of the same
problem.  In other words, folks who cannot follow text need graphical
landmarks for navigation.  This is exactly why there are international signs
on highways and buildings.  Someone from Japan does not need to read english
to recognize the knife and fork symbol for a restaurant.

	Web browsers pick up the page title and put it on the title bar and
use it to label a bookmark.  Why could there not be a title icon (like that
football helmet) that the browsers use in the same way?  Would that not help
anyone that has trouble writing a page address to navigate?  The only
problem I can think of is the extra cost in processing time and drive space,
but this could be a feature that the user could turn off if they do not want
it.

	Thinking about those highway signs, should there be a set of
standard navigation icons for the internet that everyone agrees with and
that the WAI encourages in the guidelines?

	Just some food for thought.

	Joe Roeder
	Access Technology Specialist
	National Industries for the Blind
Received on Friday, 11 June 1999 14:32:56 GMT

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