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Re: Fw: putting reader text in hidden <div> tags / adding pauses

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 18:15:53 -0500
Message-ID: <000b01c17c50$74cffc20$2cf60141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: "Rand, Robert" <RandR@SEC.GOV>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I submit that the user needs a bit of an introduction to how to use the
screen reader depending on the screen reader in use.  The first step
here is to educate the person recieving complaints.  I would suggest as
a beginning step that downloading the jaws version of use demo available
the help files and documentation that are supplied with it are excellent
and the user can be instructed by the person recieving the complaint who
will have this in hand.  For instance, you can manipulate the page with
jaws using ie to get a list of links on the page and do various things
with them.  The version of jaws that is now in public beta will also
allow one to traverse the page using heading markup such as <h1, <h2,
<h3...> as they are coded into the page and if correctly coded, this can
be quite useful.  Jaws has a skip links function built into it which
often will focus one on the first instance of a set number of characters
that does not appear in a link,  jaws will also skip repeated links on a
page if you like and there are many other little tricks that can be
used, again, depending on the version of jaws in use.

I further suggest that if you have total control over the page, that you
might want to start the page with a table of contents for the page built
such that a link in the table of contents will focus one on the
appropriate portion of the page when activated.  I would welcome oral
assistance for many things although I feel there is a lot that can be
done already.  Another suggestion is to break the page into smaller
pages which makes it easier for over all use.

I'm sure I speak for many when I say that I appreciate your efforts and
thoughts on this and I am looking forward to more discussion on this.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rand, Robert" <RandR@SEC.GOV>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 4:49 PM
Subject: RE: Fw: putting reader text in hidden <div> tags / adding

As a newcomer to accessibility issues in web development, the awkward
workaround practice of using invisible graphics for screen reader links
their alt tags for explanatory notes seems to highlight the need for a
dedicated to aural presentation only. I would argue that the aural
experience of gathering information from a web page is so different from
visual experience that it warrants special consideration. While there
to be aural styles in CSS2, none seems to fit the need that invisible
would. Isn't there a need for aural comments not met by CSS2?

A case in point is our home page. Seeing it for the first time, I would
able to visually identify within a couple of seconds the 9 key subject
headings that correspond to links to our main second-level index pages.
contrast, the aural effect seems to be a jumble of unorganized links. An
older staff member here using JAWS lamented that in the days of line
browsers, branching menus allowed her much quicker access to the
she wanted. The skip links approach was not initially helpful for her as
didn't understand the overall structure, hence had a hard time
what was skipped. Maybe I didn't do that as effectively as I could have.
considering recreating that first-level branching menu for
only as a subsection of our home page.

Is this too much retrofitting? Any references to websites that get it
would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Bob Rand, web developer
Received on Monday, 3 December 2001 18:15:50 UTC

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