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RE: Al Gore Impressed by Assistive Technology

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 23:32:37 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.19991117224313.00997290@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "Michael Burks" <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
aloha, michael, kynn et. al.!

(apologies for the salutationary pun!)

i don't know about al gore's grandfather, either, but i think that his father
(a senator from tennessee) did suffer vision loss in later life -- how severe
that loss was i don't know, but i do know that the recently elected president
of indonesia is blind...  there was an interesting profile of him in the new
york times a few weeks ago, and, while his vision loss didn't seem to be raised
as an issue during his eleventh hour campaign, there does appear to be some
controversy amongst pundits and opposition politicians in indonesia as to
whether he is totally blind or whether he retains any gross black/white
perception, as he, himself, has claimed, ever since returning from the U.S.
last year after having eye surgery...  the article did mention that he is led
by an assistant everywhere he goes -- including inside his own home...

oh, and, not that i was planning on voting for him anyway, but if al gore
thinks that Narrator allows a blind individual to interact with a computer in a
meaningful way, he's not fit to hold any office, much less that of president of
the united states!

as for the basis for that last contention, according to the documentation
available from (long wrapping URL warning):
http://windows.microsoft.com/windows2000/en/professional/help/screenreader_o
verview.htm

quote
Narrator  is designed to work with Notepad, WordPad, Control Panel, Microsoft
Internet Explorer 5.0, some parts of Windows 2000 setup, and the Windows 2000
desktop. Narrator may not read words aloud correctly in other programs.
unquote

so, unless you plan on working in an office which only uses NotePad and
WordPad, and you only need to access pages on the internet or the company
intranet that Narrator can voice, Narrator isn't what the filename in the
above-listed URL suggests it is...

hmm...  guess it couldn't be used in a single browser intranet either -- a
least not if that single browser happens not to be MSIE 5...

what a strange world it is that we inhabit -- microsoft employees have been
telling me and countless others that they aren't in the adaptive technology
business, and that they don't want to put AT manufacturers out of business, and
that Narrator isn't intended to function as a screen reader, but then, why the
sudden media blitz about Narrator with the focus clearly on its benefit to
blind users?  why the use of the term "screen reader" in the above-listed URL? 
at least the content of the pages pertaining to Narrator refer to it only as
quote a text-to-speech utility for users who are blind or have low vision
unquote, but then again, isn't that a common description of a screen reader?

oh, and one last tie-in to another thread -- according to the information at
the microsoft enable site, Narrator is not available for all languages...

gregory
--------------------------------------------------------
He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
--------------------------------------------------------
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
        <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html>
--------------------------------------------------------
Received on Wednesday, 17 November 1999 23:26:58 GMT

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