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Re: verifying accessibility

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 15:24:09 -0700
Message-Id: <a04320402b59a8556c8cf@[165.121.120.215]>
To: "Massey, Nancy" <nmassey@postoffice.dca.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 3:49 PM -0400 7/18/00, Massey, Nancy wrote:
>Kynn,
>If I am perceiving the intent of your response incorrectly please let me know.

Ms. Massey,

I think you must be, given the lengths you've needed to go through in
order to interpret anything I've said as being hostile towards you.
I wonder if you have some other source of resentment against me,
because honestly I can't tell what exactly you think I've done in
my email response that would warrant such a harsh rebuke.

>When I read your message to this list I was taken aback. You ripped 
>apart my comments without even looking at the page that I was 
>struggling with, which I found surprising.

Ripped apart?  Say what?  You're imagining things here.

I asked questions.  That's called "getting more information."

As for not looking at your page -- please remember that not everyone
uses the Internet the same way that you do, at all times.  I usually
download my email and read it offline.  To check the page I would need
to wait until I was at a point where I could reconnect to the web,
do so, and then re-open my browser.

>You assumed that I wouldn't know the basics, such as changing the 
>default font size on my browser and on.

Yes.  I always assume that on an open group such as this that we should
start with the basics.  I'm sorry if you take offense at my assumption
that you are not an expert.

>Then you suggest I am using the wrong tools, without even telling me 
>why or suggesting what tools may assist me.

Actually, I asked a question.  Let's back up, though.  What -are- you
using to try to access the page in question?  What browser and/or
assistive technologies do you have in place?  I'm assuming you have,
at the very least, a copy of Internet Explorer and JAWS for Windows,
but I've made mistaken assumptions about you before.  Do you have
IE+JAWS, do you have Netscape + Home Page Reader, or do you have some
other set of tools available?

Using which software did you fail to see alt text as pop-ups, but
still found them in the text themselves?  How is that particular
browser configured?

>I understand that you are internationally known as an expert in this 
>field and I applaud your work. But I don't believe that this sort of 
>response encourages or assists those of us who are reaching out. If 
>this list is the wrong venue for this assistance, please let me know.

You're quick to play a victim here, but you were never victimized.  I
gave you assistance and feedback -- it's not my fault if your ego
couldn't handle the equivalent of "is the computer plugged in"?  It's
always the first place to start.

Now, did you want to actually answer any of the questions that I
posed, or do you want to just insult me for trying to help you, and
continue to brag about how much of an expert you are while asking
for help from strangers?

Here's the questions I asked:

1.  Have you increased the default font size in your browser?

I assume the answer is "yes" -- to which the followup question is, "did
that help any?"  On a site designed with increased accessibility in
mind, changing the default font size will "work" -- on sites where the
font sizes are hard-coded or set as absolutes, they will break.
I'm sure you know this already, of course.

>2.  Are you sure that your browser supports "popping up of titles" as
you wish it to do?

The reason for asking this is because the "pop-up" tool tips are
very frequently misunderstood by web designers.  Some feel that ALT
should be used as the tooltip text, for example.  Various browsers
have differing levels of support for the use of ALT, TITLE, and more
as either the tooltip, the status bar notice, or other uses.  The
most "correct" way -- the one that seems to be blessed by the W3C --
is for ALT to not pop up, and for TITLE to instead serve this
purpose.

I expect that you know this already.

>3.  Maybe you're using the wrong tools, then?  It sounds like your browser
may not be providing you with access to the accessibility-related information.

You can read this question as "what tools are you using?"  At a guess,
I'd say that whatever you're using isn't providing you the information
you need -- and yet you said earlier in your post that by viewing
source, you were able to find it.  If the information is there, and
your tool -- whatever that may be -- doesn't allow you to access it,
perhaps you need to look at the tool, and see how it complies with
the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines?  (I assume you've already
done this, of course.)

4.  Accessible to whom?

And of course, you neglected to answer this question, and seemingly
ignored the point that accessibility is not a binary value.  Perhaps that
was too basic for you to even comment on; if that's the case, please
don't take offense at a little "preaching to the choir", and instead
consider that others on the list, who are not nearly as expert as you
are, might benefit from a discussion on that topic.

--Kynn
-- 
--
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2000 18:41:44 GMT

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