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Re: Partially sighted Web user

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 10:16:00 -0400 (EDT)
To: Julie Howell <JHOWELL@rnib.org.uk>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, rorme@rnibedtu.demon.co.uk
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9910010952100.8373-100000@tux.w3.org>
Fixing page-widths in tables or frmaes as an absolute mesure (number of
inchecs, pixels, points, centiemtres, etc) is usually the source of the
problem - if left to it's own devices a web page will format itself to the
width the user asks for.

This should probably be more prominent in both the WCAG and promotional
materials.

Charles McCN

On Fri, 1 Oct 1999, Julie Howell wrote:

  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
  

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 1 October 1999 10:16:41 GMT

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