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RE: What would a screen reader make of this?

From: Marjolein Katsma <access@javawoman.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 11:14:03 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

At 12:08 2001-06-14 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>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.

It *is* expensive for those who are not a company and cannot afford to pay *anyone*! I'm not talking about companies - I'm talking about private people who just provide information and want to take care it's accessible - and *cannot* afford such services (however much they would like to).

I assure you *I* could not afford to pay someone to do any testing for http://hshelp.com - just the (subsisidized) cost of the hosting is all I can afford out of my own pocket.

There are tons of sites out there that provide valuable information - made by private people in their own time, at their own cost.  "Developers' programming rates" don't apply. People who just provide information as a free service are generally not paid for it, use free hosting or pay for hosting out of their own pocket, and cannot afford to pay anyone to to anything.

>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." 

It is for me. And for many others who just want to provide information for everyone interested. Sorry, you don't succeed in dispelling that notion - it's too expensive for many people. Try thinking as a person, instead of as a company.

> If it's a commercial site,

Most sites are not commercial.

>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:
>     http://www.hwg.org/lists/hwg-critique/

OK, so how do the non-commercial information providers find out about that?
You now told me, and this list - but how many people will find this list or the HWG site?

>[*] 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. 

Sure - but that's not what my argument is about.

> 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.

Sigh - yes they are different - and that's what my whole argument *is* about!

Marjolein Katsma
HomeSite Help - http://hshelp.com/
Bookstore for Webmasters - http://hshelp.com/bookstore/bookstore.html
Received on Friday, 15 June 2001 05:14:11 UTC

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