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A posting on screen readers and checking out web page accessibility

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 10:10:07 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200001251810.KAA14332@netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Recently, there was a request on a mailing list concerning web sites
at universities about what screen reader to use to check out
web page accessibility.  Here's the response I posted.




The problem with buying screen readers to test accessibility of web
pages is that people may have trouble identifying whether there is an
accessibility issue or lack of proficiency at using the screen reader.

My recommendation to universities has been to hire some blind students
on campus to check out the web sites.  The feedback from the blind
students would probably be more accurate since they are more likely to
be proficient at using screen readers.  Different blind students would
probably use different screen readers which would give more comprehensive
testing of a web site's accessibility.  If blind students would need to
be using the web site while at the university, they could offer
recommendations on what information needs to be presented on the site which
would be helpful to blind students.  Also, it is probably more cost
effective for a campus over all rather than spending money to buy screen
readers for various campus web sites and also paying for staff time to
install, maintain and troubleshoot the screen readers in addition to
learning to be proficient at using the screen readers.


> Hi, all - Our office is looking to purchase a screen reader to gauge web
> site accessibility.  I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences
> with different brands of software/hardware.  Thanks in advance for any help
> you can give. -Christian
Received on Tuesday, 25 January 2000 13:10:18 UTC

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