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Re: 'Blind for a Day'

From: david poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 14:28:18 -0400
Message-ID: <00b301c43d05$e510c9b0$6501a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "Phill Jenkins" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Cc: <jim@jimthatcher.com>, <joeclark@joeclark.org>, <sdale@stevendale.com>, <W3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Phil and all,

I suppose I got caught speaking in the vernacular of the day when I should
have known better.  What I hoped to communicate is that there are many paths
to enriching our experience and what people often miss about many of those
paths as well is with hpr, is the fact that they give us glimpses into
realms other than what they are apprently meant to do.  Jaws too can be a
good tool as can window eyes for people with other abilities.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Phill Jenkins" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
To: "david poehlman" <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Cc: <jim@jimthatcher.com>; <joeclark@joeclark.org>; <sdale@stevendale.com>;
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: 'Blind for a Day'

>I also want to point out that home page reader is only
>one voicing application and while it can provide an
>interesting and unique experience, it can and does not
>provide the full and rich set of possible experiences
>good and bad available to the user.

Home Page Reader is also designed for user with low vision and reading
disabilities.  It has some very visual capabilities such as inheriting the
systems fonts and contrast settings.  My point being that different
individuals can have different experiences using Home Page Reader - it's
not just for testing or users who are blind.  Please understand that I am
not trying to say the HPR is for everyone, nor that HPR or any other
assistive technology is sufficient by itself  - only that HPR has
additional low vision and reading disability features that are not well

I personally welcome write-up's of experiences, studies, and research of
others.  I do worry sometimes about the recommendations about how and who
should fix what.  I think it is always important to frame recommendations
into should's and could's.  For example, the developer COULD fix the "
apples comma bananas comma and tomatoes dot" experience, but HPR and other
screen reader and speech synthesizers SHOULD fix the problem.  In other
words - it's an assistive technology problem not a web developer problem.
Another example is on the visibility of the skip navigation.  I believe
part of the problem is with the guidance from the standards (508, WCAG,
etc) where it SHOULD be clearer in recommending using
"visual-keyboard-able" skip navigation techniques.  And of course the web
developer SHOULD follow the guidance.  But, the assistive technology
developer SHOULD NOT go making things speak or displayed that the
developer coded as hidden.

Back to the original point of the thread, I and my employer IBM promote
the fact that by actually using the assistive technology does one really
begin to understand the design issues and problems.    Standards
compliance is just the beginning.  The web application design can be
improved with better usability and better customer relationship and better
integration with other applications and organizations (see

Phill Jenkins
IBM Research - Accessibility Center

"david poehlman" <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Sent by: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
05/17/2004 08:57 PM

<sdale@stevendale.com>, <jim@jimthatcher.com>
<joeclark@joeclark.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Re: 'Blind for a Day'

I agree with Seven here.  In addition, I'd add that it can also help low
vision users to be able to see the navigational aids.  I also want to
out that home page reader is only one voicing application and while it can
provide an interesting and unique experience, it can and does not provide
the full and rich set of possible experiences good and bad available to

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steven Dale" <sdale@stevendale.com>
To: <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Cc: <joeclark@joeclark.org>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: 'Blind for a Day'


    This guy seemed to actually use the screen reader instead of trying to
test something with it.  Indeed that is very unusual.  He suddenly was
keenly aware of the problems and not trying to just get his website by
with the minimum amount of work needed.

     True, he may be right on from a blind user's recommendations.  He
still misses the mark for most mobility impaired users who would like
the use of skip navigation that he so elequently stated as useful but
hidden.  Hmmmm not getting my point?  What was his complaint about
hidden in CSS...  If you can't see the skip navigation while using a
switch as input you cannot use it and therefore are stuck yet again.
Accessibility, though very beneficial to blind users, should be
available to ALL users.


Jim Thatcher said:
> Joe,
> It has nothing to do with verbosity settings. His recommendations are
> absolutely right on; every one. He did mention putting main content near
> the top because "the thing I hated the most was having to blast past
> five hundred links in a sidebar in order to get to the actual content."
> I am impressed with how well this guy understood the problems of
> listening to web content. Very unusual.
> Jim
> Accessibility, What Not to do: http://jimthatcher.com/whatnot.htm. Web
> Accessibility Tutorial: http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse1.htm.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Joe Clark
> Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 1:36 PM
> To: WAI-IG
> Subject: "Blind for a Day"
> Bloggeur tries out IBM Home Page Reader and shares tips. He should
> learn about verbosity settings, though.
> <http://www.mojombo.com/archives/000034.html>
> --
>      Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org | <http://joeclark.org/access/>
> Author, _Building Accessible Websites_ |
> <http://joeclark.org/book/> Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:28:46 UTC

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