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Re: Self-voicing browsers

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 07:44:32 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net" <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>
Cc: "'Web Accessibility Initiative'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 10:27 AM 10/14/1999 -0400, Bruce Bailey wrote:
>Productivity Works pwWebSpeak is a special purpose browser designed for the 
>blind.  I have used it only a little, but I would think that it is not 
>useful for this population because (from what I saw of it) it strips away 
>all graphics from a HTML document.

By the way, I wanted to share with you and others why I use pwWebSpeak
as an instruction tool for web designers.

Namely -- because it strips away all graphics and graphical formatting
from an HTML document.

That's a good thing?  Yes.  Because it's a GREAT "splash of cold
water" in the face of (visually oriented) web designers, who _must_
realize that the presentation they see is only _one_ way to render
their precious sites.

Seeing your web site presented in stark bold-yellow-on-black is a
great way for you to realize, hey, not everyone is going to experience
your web site the way you do.  This is important for that crucial
paradigm shift embedded in the accessibility meme -- considering
the web as a multimodal information medium instead of a visual

Both JAWS and IBM's Home Page Reader present the graphical web
designer with a view of the graphical web page they're used to, which
means that it's less than useful _for this purpose_ of being a 
wake-up call and educational tool.

As I'm not a blind user, I can't comment on the suitability of 
pwWebSpeak for general use compared to other options; my main
concern is with the education and enlightenment of web authors, and
for that, pwWebSpeak is indispensable.  Likewise, since it does
remove graphical content, it wouldn't be useful for non-readers,
as Bruce has rightly noted.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
President, Governing Board Member
HTML Writers Guild <URL:http://www.hwg.org>
Director, Accessible Web Authoring Resources and Education Center
Received on Thursday, 14 October 1999 10:59:30 UTC

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