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font sizes

From: Paul Davis <paul@ten-20.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 22:38:07 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Bradley Dodd" <bdodd@adtek.u-net.com>
Message-ID: <000001c13265$3995f860$0200a8c0@paul2>
Thanks Charles for bringing it back to basics, but if I may point out (with
the utmost respect to all the learned list) re setting font sizes and
successfully navigating around web sites is fine..... for the computer
literate. In the harsh real world where I operate, as opposed to web
designers, government circles and academia, these skills are not in

I know "let the user choose" is the belief of this list generally. It is
fair, very reasonable and democratic.

However, this defeats the independence advantage thus appeal that the
internet gives to many disabled people, (i.e where's the problem, let
someone re-set the computer for you) It's not just low vision but some
cognitive disabilities all have problems with smaller fonts. Re-set the font
size and suddenly many pages need to scroll in both directions. This can
present a bigger problem and is a pain anyway. How many sighted (low or
otherwise) on this list use less than a 17 inch screen? Try using a 12 or 15
inch, and see what happens to pages with larger font sizes.

9 times out of 10 that is all that is affordable to our targeted market
place. Donated and/or old systems.

Brookes University is working on the Cognitive problems/browser now (the
friend who asked me the original question is assisting in this) Maybe I
getting too specific, but how about memory problems? In many places in the
UK resources need to be shared within various departments/organisations,
thus computers constantly need to have settings changed to suit the
individuals. Not easy to reset settings if you have short term memory
problems (hence computer software to remind you what to do) We can not
please everyone, I understand this, but we need to please as many as
possible. In my experience working with many disabled people and charity
organisations, they want to be independent and they want to access the
internet without the need of a guide or assistant watching over their
shoulder. I believe they have a right to this simple thing.

There are no such things as problems, there are situations. Every situation
has a solution. If there is no solution then it is a fact of life. We have
to learn to live with it.

It is a fact of life that the majority of disabled people world wide have
limited resources at their disposal, because of that their skill
base/experience is also limited. Allowing the user to choose I believe will
not work in the majority of cases. (however very happy to be proved wrong)
These people are not always aware they have a choice, or if aware they do
not know how to exercise it.

Graham, I would welcome further comments on your email that low vision users
prefer non serif fonts, I find this interesting, why please?

Also can anyone tell me what I have just killed three of, since I started
this email? They are wasp like but three times the size, nocturnal, brown
and yellow (not black and yellow like wasps) brown heads and look evil and
deadly. I know what a hornet looks like and these aint them. Only there are
4 more banging their heads on my now closed window.........If I am not here

Paul Davis
Received on Friday, 31 August 2001 17:35:05 UTC

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