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RE: What would a screen reader make of this?

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 12:08:13 -0700
Message-Id: <a0510031bb74eba351c57@[]>
To: Marjolein Katsma <access@javawoman.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 6:47 PM +0200 2001/6/14, Marjolein Katsma wrote:
>At 10:52 2001-06-14 -0400, Jennifer Sutton wrote:
>  >First of all, I wonder if folks who aren't experienced with screen 
>readers consider contracting with folks who are as often as they 
>might.  It'd save time, likely yield better feedback,  and employ 
>folks.  I see lots of things cropping up that may make sense from 
>the strict letter of 508 and/or from a sighted person's point of 
>view, but would immediately be noticed by a screen reader user as 
>not a great idea.
>Valid ideas - but many people who just want to build an accessible 
>site cannot afford to "employ folks". That's why a website providing 
>some kind of testing would be valuable.

I don't mean this as an insult to any of my colleagues who are disabled,
but it's really NOT that expensive to do user testing of ANY kind,
including testing by PWD.  Typically, an hour or two of a qualified
user's time will cost far, far less than a developer's programming
rates, a site's web hosting charges, or the marketing spent to promote
the site.

And it's definitely far cheaper to identify potential problems up
front in the development cycle than to have to spend engineering dollars
retrofitting a solution.

I don't disagree with some of the things you say, but I just want to
dispel this notion that "it's too expensive to hire someone (with a
disability or otherwise) to test my site."  If it's a commercial site,
there's absolutely no reason to not do paid user testing, and if it
is a hobby or personal site, you can easily find volunteers (disabled
or not) to do critiques and testing.

The HTML Writers Guild offers a mailing list specifically for critiquing
sites, including testing for web accessibility if requested; it is all
member-provided in a peer-to-peer cooperative environment, so I urge
anyone with knowledge of accessibility testing (be that from using
AT, or Bobby, or WCAG, or whatever) who might want to help to participate
in the list.  The list is named HWG-Critique and you can find out more
about it at:


This is just one resource that lets you get "real people" to test your
site; you could probably write privately to any number of folks here who
you see posting and ask them for help as well.  [*]


[*] I strongly believe that, outside of a peer-to-peer situation (such
     as that of HWG-Critique), if you are building a commercial site
     with a real budget and money being passed around, you should pay
     for the services of PWD who can tell you what's wrong with your
     web site from their perspectives.  Non-commercial sites are
     different, of course.  I'm stating this down here just to make
     it clear that I find great value in actual human user feedback
     and I think you should too.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Thursday, 14 June 2001 15:14:19 UTC

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