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RE: Screen readers and full stops

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 12:33:50 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFE43F4387.CDF24AC7-ON86256AA7.005F4D21@raleigh.ibm.com >
The better question to ask is

<quote> What causes a screen reader to stop? <end quote>

Yes, a period in the punctuation will always cause all synthesizers (as far
as I know) to stop or pause longer than a comma.
But some screen readers can also be configured to stop or pause at other
times:
end of a heading?
end of a list item?
end of meta information?

For example, a user can configure Home Page Reader to "add trailing text -
such as a period" after headings, list items, meta text, etc.  So now every
list item will "full stop" at the end because the synthesizer will stop
when it encounters a period. I would recommend against an author adding the
period since it isn't recommend in most modern grammar books.
Interestingly, if the author adds a period, and the user configures the
synthesizer to stop at each list item, the second period encountered may be
spoken as a "dot".

   list item with two periods..

In my opinion, authors should NOT be making accommodations that are clearly
in the realm of responsibility of the synthesizer and screen readers.


Regards,
Phill Jenkins
IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center
11501 Burnet Rd,  Austin TX  78758    http://www.ibm.com/able
Received on Monday, 13 August 2001 13:34:40 GMT

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