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Re: Navigation to Alternate HTML for Screen Readers

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 09:13:29 -0400
Message-ID: <003901c14f31$dc2e53e0$2cf60141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: "Jim Ley" <jim@jibbering.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
I was not arguing this point.  I was challenging the idea that there
should be separate but equal.  This is springing up all over the place
and The other side of the coin is not "equal" as you point out.  I fully
realize what is possible but when will it become practical.

As I am fond of saying, "the web is not tv" which is another point I
think you are trying to make here.

The isue has been muddyed here and I take responsibility for that but
the original question was answered.

My suggestion is that if you have a valid reason for wanting to deliver
alternate content such for example as high bandwidth vs low bandwidth,
provide a page with the two choices as your front end and allow the path
taken to continually be followed.

If you want to write in two different languages, provide an entry point
for each language on the front page and on other important pages.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@home.com>; "Jim Ley"
<jim@jibbering.com>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2001 11:39 PM
Subject: Re: Navigation to Alternate HTML for Screen Readers

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 Sunday, 7 October 2001 09:13:33 UTC

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