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Re: Is large print Accessibility?

From: Kristi R Schueler/NONFS/USDAFS <kschueler@fs.fed.us>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 12:47:10 -0600
To: "Ben Morris" <bmorris@activematter.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFAD423E6D.76892FAA-ON8725696C.0065A1DE@r2.fs.fed.us>

Ben -

BM: "Am I wrong to assume that those with impaired site (not completely
blind) would generally have access to a screen magnifier?"

KS: My understanding from the experience of my mother being legally blind
since I was born to complete blindness over the course of 12 years or so,
most legally blind (forgive me for not remembering what the numbers are on
this, but she had several different periods where she was able to read with
the help of newer glasses or special magnifiers etc. but was not permitted
to drive any longer) persons should be able to obtain screen magnification
or screen reading or even braille display adaptive equipment from their
state services for the blind (this is in the U.S.).  But, there are many
who don't know their rights and don't know how to go about getting this
stuff and they often don't make it easy to get either.  The amount and ease
varies on the state and sometimes even the county in which the disabled
person lives.  I may be stereotyping here, but my guess is that the type of
person who is wanting to be on the Internet and looking at web pages and
such is going to know the proper channels through which to get the adaptive
equipment they would need.  But it isn't proper to assume that.

BM: "So that leaves us with those who need reading glasses, like many of
the middle aged or seniors.  They might have the text set to the largest
size, but this would not have any effect on images or text that is
specified to an exact size."

KS:  There is a browser out there that is commonly used in the disabled
world, but likely wouldn't be widely known to those with vision impairment
that does not qualify them for adaptive equipment and that is the Opera
browser.  This browser is superior for disabled persons because it is much
easier and intuitive to set your own style sheets, turn off graphics and
the like.  Now, how does this work with text as images?  Well, in the lower
left (the default location) there is a drop down menu contain percentages
20% to 1000% and it scales everything on the webpages accordingly,
including images.  It is important to note that if scaled too large it
becomes difficult to read text as images because of degradation in the
graphic quality and inability to display whole sentences, phrases or even
words on the same screen,  But for those with just slight impairment, it is
a great solution to just double or triple the size of the web page!  It has
it's draw backs because it isn't as widely known as MSIE or NN and it also
isn't free.  They do have a 30 day free trial and it counts down only the
days that you use it so you can have it on your machine for months as long
as you haven't opened it thirty different days.  It isn't expensive to
register either.  If I remember correctly it is about $30.  More
information is available on their website at http://www.opera.com.

Kristi Schueler
USFS - WOD,  FC AQM Systems
Web Developer (contractor)
(970)295-5801 (voice)
(970)295-5809 (fax)
Received on Monday, 2 October 2000 14:47:15 UTC

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