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Partially sighted Web user

From: Julie Howell <JHOWELL@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 1999 14:35:13 +0000
Message-Id: <s7f4c921.029@rnib.org.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: rorme@rnibedtu.demon.co.uk
I have been contacted by a partially sighted lady here in the UK  who is using a
particular Acorn Archimedes screen magnification system.

She is experiencing problems when trying to view some Websites.  She is
under the impression that Web designers are able to code Webpages so that
horizonal scrolling will never be necessary by users of magnification software.
Here's what she says in a messasge to me:

" Formatting.   I'm still concerned that this issue doesn't seem to be amongst
the ones you raise with designers.   Yet it's quite crucial for
anyone using screen enlargement,  like me.
I need to be able to format all text to about 50-character lines,  and a resolution
width of 440 pixels.   Do you take this into account when advising clients?
Some sites reformat automatically,  giving me line
lengths that fit my screen.   Others have a fixed
line length,  which makes me have to scroll across,
 which is very bad for my eyes :-(
Can you add automatic reformatting to your
desired parameters,  please?"

My response to this lady so far has been that I didn't believe it was possible to
fix the width of pages without the use of tables (which then causes problems for
other Net users).

Doesn't all magnification software (such as Zoomtext) require horizontal
scrolling?  Is is realistic to expect all Web designers to put text with fixed-width
tables/frames (I think not!).
Am I missing something?  Or should I advise this lady that there is nothing that
can be done to help her and she should get some new software (which she is
very reluctant to do)?

Thanks and best wishes
Julie Howell
Campaigns Officer (Access to Digital)
RNIB
JHowell@rnib.org.uk
Received on Friday, 1 October 1999 09:46:05 GMT

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