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Re: Testing web page accessibility by phone

From: phoenixl <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 18:13:26 -0700
Message-Id: <200205290113.g4T1DQ0v029936@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: phoenixl@sonic.net, poehlman1@comcast.net, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

First, the goal isn't necessarily validation but looking at
accessibility.  Second, different people have different interpretations
of what an accessible web page is to blind people.  For example, look at
the various standards that have been or are being developed.

The methodology being used was to get subjective experience of various
blind subjects.  Rather than taking the perspective that the web pages
are accessible because they meet some set of standards, we focused on
whether the blind subjects themselves experienced the web pages as being
accessible.  The feedback that was given was interesting and helpful.

Using a comparison strategy can also be helpful, but not always
necessary for getting useful information.  The issue of skill is
something to consider.  A question though is how much is it a blind
person's responsibility to have a certain skill level and how much is it
the web page's responsibility not to have high expectations for skill

The Hisoftware person I talked with left me with the impression that the
software doesn't have mechanisms for measuring such things as how long
does it take for the blind subject to understand a web page or
determining how accurately the blind subject understands the web page.
The software basically is checking syntax against a specified set of
standards rather than evaluating the experience of the subjects.

Rather than discussing the questions, it might be interesting first to
use them when working with a variety of blind subjects.  However, a
question to ask is if a sighted person can understand the purpose of a
web page in let's say 15 seconds and it often takes a blind person 2
minutes to understand the same web page, is that web page accessible?


> there is no validation here.  Now, if you use comparison strategies and
> ask what was good or bad or whatever about this site as opposed to this
> site and you knew at what starting point the person was at skill wise,
> you might get somewhere.  I cannot even begin to answer most of the
> qquestions you asked here.  Let's see.  I'll try in my in your message
> below.  Hisoftware products address these issues in that if their
> suggestions are followed, pages will be as accessible and usable as
> possible.
>     1.  What is the purpose of the web page being presented?
> dp: if the page is well written and accessible, I could take a fair
> guess as could anyone looking at it.
>     2.  How do you know you are correctly interpreting the purpose of
>         the web page?
> dp: my experience with life tells me and if I don't know, I will tell
> you I don't know.
>     3.  How long did it take you to correctly understand the purpose
>         of the web page?
> dp: if I cannot understand the purpose of a web page within two minutes,
> I either ask someone if it is im;portant enough or I move on.
>     4.  What on the web page is confusing to you?
> dp: now, this is highly subjective and of course, I'd have to have a
> page if something is confusing.  and then again, perhaps nothing is
> confusing to me or the entire page is confusing to me but this question
> tells me nothing.  I will give you this though.  I have seen pages where
> the same links repeat several times on the page in the liniar top to
> bottom fashion of my reader and this is quite strange to me but I have
> learned that it is the way some pages are marked up and that the page is
> not actually liniarized to most people.
>     5.  What on the web page did you use incorrectly?
> dp: again, can I answer nothing?
Received on Tuesday, 28 May 2002 21:13:29 UTC

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