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Fw: NIH self-reading Web site

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 11:23:09 -0500
Message-ID: <000c01c39bdd$720713d0$6501a8c0@handsontech>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David R. Stong" <drs18@PSU.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2003 11:17 AM
Subject: NIH self-reading Web site

A colleague passed me an article with the headline, "NIH Launches
NIHSeniorHealth.gov; New Web Site Features Health Information,
Talking Web, Easy Access for Older Adults, Visually Impaired"  Links
to the article and to the discussed Website are at the end of this

The article discusses:

"a new talking web site with formats and topics tailored to the needs
of older people.  The senior friendly site takes advantage of
techniques developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the
National Library of Medicine (NLM) designed to encourage older people
to use the Internet."

"The NIA and NLM brought together researchers who study cognition,
web site designers, and communications experts at the two institutes
to fashion a site that is easy for older adults to read, understand,
remember, and navigate. For example, the site features large print
and short, easy-to-read segments of information repeated in a variety
of formats -- such as open-captioned videos and short quizzes -- to
increase the likelihood it will be remembered.  Consistent page
layout and prompts help older adults move from one place to another
on the site without feeling lost or overwhelmed. Each topic provides
general background information, quizzes, frequently asked questions
(FAQs), open-captioned video clips, transcripts for the videos, and
photos and illustrations with captions.  NIHSeniorHealth.gov will
have a "talking" function, which will allow users the option of
reading the text or listening to it as it is read to them. Finally,
in addition to being senior-friendly, the new site also complies with
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, making it accessible
for persons with disabilities."

Adding the assistive technologies to a Web site at first seems
useful; people accessing this site with limited means, or from a
public machine in a library that has no assistive technologies, would
seem to get an immediate benefit. But the List of Topics page didn't
validate, and after a quick look, I could see there weren't any
<noscript> tags and several other problems.

Does anyone on the list have experience with the site? Do you think
the added functionality gets in the way of access? It seems like the
technology is worth exploring if it's own set of difficulties could
be addressed.

A direct link to the article mentioned is

A direct link to the NIH Senior Health Website is

David R. Stong
Microcomputer Information Specialist (Graphic Designer),
Education Technology Services, a unit of
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Information Technology Services
The Pennsylvania State University

210  Rider Building II
227 W Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819

Working for Universal Design:
Received on Sunday, 26 October 2003 11:23:12 UTC

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