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Re: Is embedded audio helping accessibility?

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 13:25:14 -0700
Message-Id: <a0510030db78f661a6823@[]>
To: <mpodd@iqnetcom.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 8:36 AM -0700 2001/8/02, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>Assuming it's coded sensibly, it's roughly neutral, but tends to be more
>of a "help" than a "hindrance".  It's usually true that most users with
>special needs have assistive technology, but not always.

I want to amend this.

It's usually true that most _blind_ users have assistive technology, or
at least that they would need it to get that far.  Without some sort of
assistive tech (screenreader, etc) won't be able to get to your web site
in the first place; simply starting an application (such as a web
browser) would be next to impossible.

However, it's also usually true that most users who have _other_
disabilities likely _don't_ have an appropriate assistive technology
program or device.  In this case, talking about the benefits of an
audio track, there are two groups who would benefit from such a

1.  People who can't see the text.

2.  People who can't read the text.

The first group are the blind users; these are the ones who _probably_
already have a solution, in the form of a screenreader (or Braille
terminal or whatever).

The second group includes a NUMBER of people -- adult non-readers,
people reading in a foreign language, children, and people with
cognitive disabilities that prevent them from being able to read
text easily, but who may be able to understand spoken words -- or
spoken words PLUS text -- easier than text alone.

These audiences overwhelmingly do NOT have access to screenreaders
and the like, and for those people, embedded audio would indeed
prove beneficial.

So while I make the correction above, I still stand by my suggestion
that you not remove this, as it could help some people.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2001 17:01:42 UTC

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