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RE: Testing web page accessibility by phone

From: phoenixl <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:13:40 -0700
Message-Id: <200205300113.g4U1Deei028673@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: foliot@bytowninternet.com, phoenixl@sonic.net, poehlman1@comcast.net, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


I didn't want to imply that a phone methodology would be useful for all
aspects of accessibility testing.  I also did not wish to imply that the
blind accessibility is the only accessibility to be concerned about.

The question of time with regards to other disabilities is also
interesting.  If a web page was set up so that a person with a cognitive
disability could read and understand it in 10 minutes, is it accessible?
Suppose that the page could be restructured and a person with a
cognitive disability could read it in 2 minutes.  Is the first form
really accessible?  Suppose a paraplegic could climb up stairs dragging
his/her wheelchair behind him.  Even though it took much longer than
using an elevator, are the stairs accessible?

Usually when I lecture, I focus on usability and say that accessibility
is just a specialization of usability.


PS  Just a thought on "Accessible is accessible to all".  In a book called,
"Johnny Got His Gun", the main character lost all four limbs, sight
and hearing.  If web pages aren't accessible to him, then they aren't

>> 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?
>Interesting question, but one which *may* miss a point.  What about those
>with cognative disabilities?  Dsylexia, illiteracy, poor grasp of English
>(may not be the users mother tongue), etc.  It may take these users more
>than 5 minutes to either read or digest content on a page, but if they
>successfully can access the content, then yes, it is accessible (IMHO).
>All too often when the discussion of web page accessibility is looked at,
>the discussion always seems to be about making pages accessible to blind
>people; a point which frustrates me to no end as it is about *way more* than
>just that!
>Those that know me know I apply a strict interpretation to "accessibility",
>and I leave the user agents out of the mix.  Accessible is accessible to
>all - period.
>Scott's methodology appears relevant, but if I may, expand your user group.
>Can those with mobility impairments access the content, or are there a whole
>raft of teeny tiny little hyperlinks which are hard to "click" on impedeing
>the progress?  Is the message clearly articulated, or have the copy editors
>loaded it with so much hyperbole and ambiguity that even a university grad
>would be left scratching their head (ever read an IT companies mission
>statement?)  Can the users successfully navigate from one area to the next,
>and answer questions posed to them by the tester based on information within
>the web site?  Can your testers access the content using a non-standard user
>agent (wireless handheld for example, or a text only browser)?
>If this sounds like usability testing, it is; but expanded with the
>knowledge that usabilty must also incorporate accessibility... they are in
>fact two sides of the same coin.
>Good discussion thread...
Received on Wednesday, 29 May 2002 21:14:20 UTC

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