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Re: Navigation to Alternate HTML for Screen Readers

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 20:32:31 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100300b7e57c5424fe@[10.0.1.2]>
To: "Jim Ley" <jim@jibbering.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 10:07 PM +0100 2001/10/06, Jim Ley wrote:
>  > >>Does anyone know of any emerging standards (explicit or implicit) for
>how to quickly and easily direct screen-reader users to an alternate set
>of HTML?
>There is no support for CC/PP available, without any there it cannot be
>used or suggested as solution in the guidelines, pie in the sky
>suggestions only mislead people, there IMO must be support before it finds
>its way into the guidelines...  (in any case UA's can do almost everything
>that CC/PP can provide without any of the CC/PP drawbacks.)

The question was whether there are any emerging standards.  CC/PP is
indeed "emerging" and in the future will prove to be very useful for
web accessibility.

>  > There is absolutely nothing in W3C WAI specifications which discourages
>>  the use of alternate interfaces for specific uses, as long as content
>>  is accessible.
>
>There are a number of areas that I see cover it.  If you use HTML4.01, and
>follow the WAI guidelines, there aren't any situations that I can see
>where an "aural, braille" alternative page can be warranted, HTML4.01 has
>sufficient mechanisms in it to make the page accessible to that audience.
>If that page is not accessible then you've failed to use the technology
>properly.

That's just if you care about _accessibility_ alone.  If you care about
_usability_ as well, there are a number of good reasons to design a
user interface which is optimized for a screenreader or Braille terminal
which you simply can't do in straight HTML 4.01.

Part of this is because HTML 4.01 is an extremely limited markup
language, and part of this is because whenever one group's user interface
is a _derivative_ of another group's, by necessity you will see usability
suffer.

You are correct when you say that if all you care about is accessibility
and not ease of use, HTML 4.01 is probably all that's warranted, but
if you want to deliver a GOOD user interface to users, even those who
are blind, it is important to not merely say "you have ALT text and
skip-links, that should be enough!"

--Kynn

-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
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Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 23:48:08 GMT

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