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Re: Navigation to Alternate HTML for Screen Readers

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 20:39:51 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100301b7e57d6d66f4@[]>
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@home.com>, "Jim Ley" <jim@jibbering.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 6:09 PM -0400 2001/10/06, David Poehlman wrote:
>I believe it should discouraged not only because of the maintenance
>but also simply because it's only used by authors who have categorised
>accessibility, i.e. they've made the page content available to screen
>readers, when it would've been better if they'd made the content

Maintenance issues go away immediately if you are using a sensible
content management system -- so you are only talking about _misuse_
of alternate interfaces here.

It's not always desirable to make the user interface for a non-
visual user a derivative of the user interface for a visual user,
in the same way that it's not desirable to base the "user interface"
for a movie on that of a book.  If you went to a movie and the
first scene was just a static image -- a "cover" -- and the second
scene was a dedication, and the third was a complex copyright
notice, you'd walk out.

Television has moved way beyond being radio plays where you can see
the person talking.  A brochure on paper is not the same thing as
a brochure on a web site.

In the same way, we need to adapt web sites to fit the audiences, too,
especially in cases in which it's trivial (relatively speaking) to do

It's not enough to tell blind people they have to "settle" for mere
access when they could have usability like everyone else.  There are
millions of dollars spent each year by companies to perfect good,
usable graphical interfaces -- there should be similar efforts to
deliver not only "barely accessible" non-graphical interfaces, but
those which are designed to be easy and simple to use, for EVERYONE.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which people with disabilities
are repeatedly told they must "settle" -- and so we get very good
people who I like, such as David Poehlman, not realizing that there's
anything more available to him.  There is more to the world, Dave,
than just one-size-fits-all web sites -- there's a whole new set
of opportunities I want to show you and everyone else where usability
is not just a perk for the sighted.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 23:48:10 UTC

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