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Request to look at WAVE output with screenreader.

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 16:16:37 -0500
Message-Id: <4.2.2.20000318155648.00baed70@pop3.concentric.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I'd like to ask people who are blind to take a look at the output of the 
WAVE http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/  with your screen 
reader or speech browser.   I realize that in it's present form it doesn't 
do much if anything to help blind users decide if a page is accessible--it 
adds icons and annotations to a web page to tell a sighted person e.g. what 
the ALT text is for an image, or flag the image if alt text is missing.  It 
also tells the sighted person via arrows and numbers what the reading order 
is. It doesn't seem that would do a blind user much good.

However, the icons and annotations it adds to the page are accessible, and 
I'd like to ask you, the folks using screenreaders,  to check if it's 
showing sighted users what you think are the most important things they 
should be looking at to judge a page's accessibilility.

So right now, for example, when you reach an image with alt text you'll 
hear the alt text twice because you're hearing both the ALT text of the 
image and  the text that has been written on the screen to show the sighted 
user the alt text.  Or if there's no alt text you'll hear an alert to that 
effect (the alert being the alt text of the icon the sighted user 
sees).  Plus you'll hear arrows and numbers... you'll always hear them in 
order, 1, 2, 3, because they show the sighted person the reading order you 
hear with your screenreader.  But since a sighted user is looking at the 
screen, he or she will find it difficult or impossible to figure out the 
reading order.  Another example of something that does a blind user no good 
but is useful to a sighted users.

Also, if you have applets turned off, you'll hear the applet alternative 
(if any) and then you'll hear it again, since it's written on the screen 
for the sighted user to compare with the applet they see.

One other thing... it shows the ALT text for image map areas, but it 
doesn't always show them next to the image (it shows them whereever they 
happened to be in the code).  The image will say "see areas of image map 
blah blah" and somewhere else, before or after, you'll find the notation 
"Areas of image map blah blah", followed by icons and annotations for the 
alt text of the areas.  I realize that's klugy and will fix it in the future.

Anyway, please tell me what else you think the sighted person should be 
looking at.  These could be automatic alerts, analogous to missing alt 
text, or things to which the sighted person needs to apply judgment, e.g. 
the ALT text of an image next to the image.

I've already heard from one person who via his screenreader spotted 
something I missed and there's going to be other stuff I'm sure. Even if it 
turns out I was thinking of it already, it will be useful to hear from you 
to find out priorities adding it.

Thanks in advance!

Len
-------
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122

kasday@acm.org
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday

(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Saturday, 18 March 2000 16:12:13 GMT

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