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RE: Slashdot: How should Govt sites be designed?

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 21:05:14 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <info@open.gov.uk>
    No, I'm not hoping for "every site" to be heavy with illustrations,
just the ones that are supposed to be used by people with disabilities that
include those with reading and cognitive disabilities. <grin> ... 

	When I see such an inaccessible site as this being touted as Triple A and
lauded as being so "accessible", it points out the need to include
specifics in the guidelines so that illustrations are part of the planning
of an assessible page ... 

	If some think otherwise, I suggest they stage an "experiment", and ask
some elementary (age 5 to 11/12) schools to test the site with their
children and see how long and how much help the children need to locate the
information they are supposed to learn about "government" in their
curricula. See how long it takes them to locate a picture of their queen,
for example, or the name and face of the top official closest to them
geographically ... or to find out how a law is created in your government
.... these are things US children are learning as early as 5 yrs old. For
five year olds, the teachers provide the materials, but by ten, we expect
them to be able to find information on their own. Would a ten-year old be
able to find typical "student" information quickly and easily on that site?
How about an eight-year old? 

	The site already has a "text version", why not also a "graphic version"
... As a teacher, a "kid's version" would also be welcome... 


At 12:00 PM 12/15/00 -0800, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>Not so fast, Bruce... I said their efforts were commendable, but I stopped
>short of calling them extremely accessible. I agree that the site is far
>more accessible than most, but I also think that Anne is correct when she
>complains that the text-only nature of the site is a barrier to people with
>cognitive disabilities.
>Anne and I may not agree on the *extent* to which images are needed
>(sometimes I think Anne would like nothing better than for every site on
>line to look like a Dr. Seuss book), but without any visual clues, this
>would be a pretty difficult site for most people with cognitive
>disabilities. And given that it's a government site, that seems a pretty
>serious oversight.
>Charles F. Munat,
>Seattle, Washington
Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Friday, 15 December 2000 21:12:58 UTC

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