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Re: A another thought on accessibility

From: david poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 09:33:35 -0400
Message-ID: <004701c4464a$b5a12e60$6601a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: <sdale@stevendale.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

well, if they can talk, they should allow for voice input with correction of
course.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steven Dale" <sdale@stevendale.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 2:44 AM
Subject: A another thought on accessibility



This weekend I had the pleasure of going to the WWII Memorial Dedication
here in Washington DC.  There was a tent where those veterans could tell
there story on the computer.  Presumably to be entered into a database
eventually.  Well, I took note of those telling their stories.  I was
particularly interested in the veterans who had disablities because that
is where I see myself working.  Working with the senior citizens.  Anyway,
of those that came and told their stories,  most were in wheelchairs, very
limited dexterity in the arms/legs and had low vision.  I noticed a
whopping TWO that were blind.  Now this is not a statement on blind users
because it was only for veterans.  Those like me with low vision or
blindness were probably not in the services.  There were no assistive
technology in play here because it was dictated to volunteers to enter
into the PCs.  I believe this was a smart move as they could get the
faster data entry people to enter the stories.  There were over 200,000
veterans there and speed was essential.  But what about their homes?  I
think we need to focus some attention on input/output as a general area
for accessibility.  And work towards improving the content for those with
cognitive disabilities.  This area is definitely very weak in
accessibility.  There needs to be more work on lowering the average
reading level on the web.  The newspapers are generally written to those
with a 5th grade (US) reading level.  Then there are the senior citizens
who may not have the "typical" learning disability but have not grown up
with computers.  There are an awful lot of web page designers that like
the flashy, yet not obvious to those learning to surf the web, webpages.
Does this mean the website has to be boring? NO, but why hide areas of
text/images/links only to pop up if the mouse is on a particular, random
looking for those new to surfing, pixel.  Other accessibility problems
with this aside, my point is not about the flashyness, its about being
obvious on what the user should do to get to the information the user
wishes to retrieve and understand.  Seeing these vets telling their
stories, many were fascinated with the technology but I doubt they would
be able to effectively tell their stories on their own.

-Steve
Received on Sunday, 30 May 2004 09:34:11 UTC

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