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Re: Inclusion or accessibility

From: Simon Evans <simon@senteacher.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 14:00:22 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <3bd816b1.533678859@mail.u-net.com>
On Mon, 22 Oct 2001 00:17:54 +0930, you wrote:

>for different needs. We already recognise the importance of providing text
>alternatives to multimedia components and indeed the option to view a site as
>text only. 

I think tiered approaches are probably the key. The only broadly
consistent nod in this direction would be literature/sites with
Rebus-type symbols. This is good for non-readers with moderate
learning difficulties, but in itself is not all that accessible, maybe
the top third of my SLD pupils could follow the gist of a page without
additional cues, maybe two thirds could with the addition of
audio/video alongside, none of my PMLD pupils would be included in
this way however...also many SLD pupils are not engaged by such static
content.

>posts here are wide of the mark. If that is the case everyone who contributes
>to this list needs to be aware of the concerns. Another useful approach would
>be for you to identify what it is about the couple of sites that you consider
>are truly inclusive and post that to the list along with the URLs.

I'll profile a couple of individuals, since I'm not sure how
meaningful the labels are to those outside of schools. All my pupils
have highly individual needs, but the following three might give a
cross-section of capabilities..if you view the gallery on our site you
might get some idea of the type of activities/learning our pupils
undertake at school.

(PMLD) K. is 12 and has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and multi-sensory
impairment, she is able to move her head and right hand/arm. K. has no
communication skills other than affective, but enjoys being around
people and interacting with the computer via a single, large
switch....she understands cause&effect but is not yet able to use
timed/scanning interfaces. On school's website she uses the switch
gallery to progress slideshows and particularly enjoys the number
game.

K2. is 14 and has SLD Autism, he communicates using a handful of
symbol cards, sign and informal gesture. He is able to use a
touchscreen to find a clear target (the sun/moon/bubble in the touch
circles game) use timed switch interfaces (stuff such as the archery
game on our site) and will move a mouse/trackball in terms of
fast/slow around the screen (he likes to make music with the pupil
homepages menu and a mouse, but reaches for the touchscreen to
actually choose a name-tile).

(SLD) R. is 16 has epilepsy, non-specific brain-damage and some
characteristics of high-function autism, mainly social irregularities
and perserverations. He understands the basic concept of Internet as a
global network of sites and medium for communication. He has some word
recognition but no true reading skills. He's able to navigate and
reference our site fully, and one of the half dozen or so of pupils
able to use the Agents for TTS, rather than just an observer of their
antics. He can use a mouse effectively and has a fairly intelligent
approach visual navigation systems (iconic navbars/tables of images
etc). With prompting and support he can access most kid orientated
sites, but independently only uses our own and a couple of those
below. 

The following are sites which some of our pupils use. They all offer a
certain amount of independence in use for at least our SLD pupils, but
only Kingsbury and Meldreth are used by our PMLD switch users.


http://www.sldonline.org/Kingsbury/
(my schools site again)
http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/meldreth/index.html
http://www.moorcroftsch.freeserve.co.uk/picture_show.htm
http://freespace.virgin.net/school.priorywoods/Lowerschool.html
http://www.peepo.com/
http://www.wyvern.dorset.sch.uk/symbol_links.htm
http://www.mencap.org.uk/

I wouldn't say any are even close to right, but all the above were
developed around the pupils/people using them, which makes them
valuable as examples...by and large it is MLD/SLD users they serve,
rather than PMLD. None of the sites really offer much other than
reference or learning-activities to external LD visitors, but do
provide platform for celebrating individual achievements locally, akin
to personal homepages.

Maybe they'll be sufficient for a starting point of discussion for the
needs of this group. 

Simon
Received on Monday, 22 October 2001 09:04:27 GMT

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