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Re: JAWS® for Windows for FREE? Lets give a try!

From: Isofarro <w3evangelism@faqportal.uklinux.net>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 21:53:46 +0100
Message-ID: <005701c36f3b$63bd2680$0200a8c0@laptop>
To: <tim@wiseguysonly.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Roberts" <tim@wiseguysonly.com>
Subject: Re: JAWS® for Windows for FREE? Lets give a try!

> Matt May wrote:
> >
> > Instead of asking screen reader and voice browser vendors to give
> > awaythe farm, why not ask them to create a Web-based service to
> > emulatewhat their tool speaks to the user?
> This is a much better idea.

I have serious doubts over the usability and accuracy of such a system. I've
been using IBM's HomePage reader over the last week or so (with the screen
blacked out too), and I don't think a web based service could ever deliver
the typical interactivity of a speech based browser. Using HPR it is a
god-send to be able to skip over large parts of a document - at any point,
jumping as far as you want, navigating using a number of different methods
(link-by-link, by headings, by table cell). The bandwidth and resources
required would be similar in scope to having an intensive and interactive
discussion with someone else over a web-phone, but where that someone else
is a piece of software. Heck, the hardware required to run such a system is
a fright in itself.

Its certainly not feasible over a standard 56K modem, and the cost of such
an infrastructure, in both developing it and maintaining it will be pretty
hefty - for what benefit?

I am most certainly against this petition - it has the capability of
inflicting serious damage to the accessibility community, simply because it
will be seen as a case of web designers expecting better treatment and more
rights than a disabled person to a product for the disabled community. That
is counterproductive to all our efforts to be part of the solution
accessibility is intending to solve.

I've suggested an alternative over in accessifyforum of approaching Freedom
Scientific of allowing a modified license agreement where a webdesigner pays
full price for the product (or a discount when purchased with the training
course) that allows the web designer to install the product for testing
purposed, plus an additional license that they can then donate to a
charity/organisation who can then give the license to an appropriate
disabled person for use.

Received on Saturday, 30 August 2003 17:11:49 UTC

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