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Re: Emails for pwld

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 02:32:59 +0000
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Message-Id: <78F51468-43DE-11D8-878D-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>

there are really 3 options:

One: the most difficult for you personally, which is to take a stake in 
the issue, recognise that not everyone has the same aversion to 
graphics, and decide to contribute. A first time user of peepo, with 
severe learning difficulties and limited communication skills described 
the site as "easy to use", and that is a description we love, and hope 
to be truthful to. Caroline has a site in development at mencap, I can 
probably send you the link privately if you're interested. Aldict is 
the name of a European project that used proprietary graphics to 
exchange emails and is currently marketed as an email application 
"inter_comm". You will find it at http://www.widgit.com/ also search 
for "webwise" a browser that converts html pages and adds graphics for 
each word. Please be aware that all 3 of these projects use closed 
source and proprietary graphics. This means that publication of 
graphical resources to the web is not practicable, as the copyright 
holders allow only limited use. Spreading understanding around the 
needs of people with learning difficulties is also a time consuming 
activity: brief plain English summaries.

Two: read what Vincent Flanders has to say, and know you were right all 
along http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/mysterymeatnavigation01.html
"Accessibility can make an ass out of you. Here's the e-mail: This Web 
site prides itself on its accessibility -- you can tab to the links and 
type individual letters, but they've overlooked one small fact -- This 
is "Mystery Meat Navigation" of the worst order.
No one orders Mystery Meat if they can help it. I'm all for 
accessibility, but this is just too damn weird -- even for me: 

Three: decide that you've had enough of all this, but if you got this 
far you probably already decided that this wasn't the way for you.

Basically there is a continuum of graphic usage, from tv through 
graphical novels to illustrated books and finally text books.
Our users don't cover the whole spectrum of learning disability, but a 
large proportion.
The really sad thing is that whilst fonts were invented before 
copyright kicked in, and thus we can find copyright and royalty free 
fonts, the same cannot be said for graphics. Imagine trying to publish 
a news site for people with very limited reading skills, well its 
possible, but if you want to include illustrations and photographs, it 
becomes impossible. Even if there is very limited commercial potential, 
the royalties due to AP preclude its realisation. In fact of course 
within an institution it is possible, and I've done it as a weekly 
publication with students editing and collating the whole production 
for a couple of years. But you just cannot circulate the result to a 
wider audience and this is awful. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/pda/ has a suitable, if slightly high 
word count, but unfortunately the syllable count is too high. We still 
link to it though, as its the best we know of, try: book, news.

Finally, you might like to read this helpful contribution from Lawrence 
Lessig: www.redherring.com/insider/2003/01/copycats011003.html
which gives an insight into another approach to copyright known as 
dojinshi; feel free to use any graphics for peepo.co.uk that you can.

well if I can help in any way, let me know ~:"


On Friday, January 9, 2004, at 11:13  pm, Nick Kew wrote:

> On Fri, 9 Jan 2004, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>> Nick,
>> It would be useful, but the devil is in the detail.
>> Secure logins can be achieved this way:
>> Put one person known image in a page of strangers photographs, on a
>> number of pages, and that's fairly good security.
>> (ie the user has to click on a series of known images)
> Hmmm?  I'm not following you.
>> take a look at http://www.peepo.co.uk for a web browsing experience 
>> for
>> non-readers.....
> I find peepo confusing.  But then, I'm a text-oriented person; I always
> keep graphics turned off, and curse both sites and applications that
> expect me to find their graphical icons meaningful.
> But anyway, aren't non-readers and email mutually incompatible?
> I thought we were talking about slow readers - maybe less severely
> handicapped than your users, but still of interest to organisations
> like mencap and people like Caroline.
>> Could an open source email program also provide a long term learning
>> experience?
>> without a doubt ~:"
> Accessiblemail (with which I am connected, though it's not my baby)
> is dedicated to living up to its name.  We've taken care to make it
> work well for visually- and motor-impaired users.  If adding photos
> will help those with reading difficulties, then I'm sure we can do it.
> As for open-source, that's not my decision, but it may well happen.
> -- 
> Nick Kew
Jonathan Chetwynd
"A web by people with learning difficulties"
Received on Saturday, 10 January 2004 21:28:53 UTC

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