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RE: [WAI-IG] list policies (top posting for vision impairments)

From: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:02:44 -0700
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000901c3fcb4$444b3c40$0200000a@IBM>

Dear WAI Folks,

I thought the following might be helpful.

Best
George

Discussion List Protocols and Etiquette

By George Kerscher & Gregg Vanderheiden

After many years of participating on discussion lists, several
suggestions pop up time and time again.  We have tried to capture
the most common recommendations that can be used as suggestions for
discussion list guidelines.  The guidelines are listed first as a short list
followed by more information on each.


1) Keep the discussions friendly. Use (grin) and (smile) in
   your email if tone could be mistaken. Don't use :-) .
2) If you change topics - change the Subject Line.
3) Try to include just one thought topic per email.
4) Delete any unnecessary or unrelated lines from the original
   message. Retain information necessary to follow the thread.
5) If new text is inserted within the body of the Old message,
   mark all new text with author's initials enclosed in angle

   brackets.  (e.g   <GV>  or  <GK>)   At the end put:  </gv>
or </gk>).  BE CONSISTENT so that a person using a screen 
   reader can use text search to find all your comments.
6) Do not use indenting to show organization of thought or
   material unless you also include Outline Labels such as
   1,2,3 and a b c, or full word labels.
7) Put two blank lines before titles to make them easier to
   find both visually and via search.
8) Send these recommendations to new list subscribers.
   (And repeat as necessary).

--------------------------------------------------------


Suggestion 1:   Keep the discussions friendly. Use "grin" and
               "smile" in your email if tone could be mistaken.

Rationale: 	This helps clarify intentions and is an aide to
            	communication.

TIP:   		Sometimes people will use colons and other
          	punctuation to do this. Screen readers
          	do not work with ASCII art like :-) so spell
          	out (smile) or (wink) etc as words.



SUGGESTION 2:   If you change topics - change the Subject Line.

RATIONALE:   	Automatic Threading software in the archive will
             	start a new thread. It is also easier for people 
             	to follow a topic of interest by reading the 
             	subject line.

TIP:     	It is possible in many email packages to sort by
         	subject and by date. This allows you to read the
         	messages about a certain subject in the order as
         	they were posted.



SUGGESTION 3:  	Try to include just one thought topic per email.

RATIONALE:    	This allows the discussion on the list to focus 
              	on one idea.

TIP:      	Send multiple messages to facilitate response and
          	threading.



SUGGESTION 4:   Delete any unnecessary or unrelated lines from 
                the original message. Retain information       
                necessary to follow the thread.

RATIONALE:    	This means there will be less information to wade
              	through. Remember some people are using screen
              	readers and they must read each line to find the
              	relevant information.
 


SUGGESTION 5: 	If new text is inserted within the body of the

                old message, use your initials enclosed in angle 
                brackets to identify the beginning of your 
                comment. Close your comment with the 
                angle bracket slash. For example: <gv>comment by

                Greg</gv> or <gk>here is George's comment</gk> BE 
                CONSISTENT so that a person using a screen reader
                can use text search to find all your comments.            

RATIONALE: 	In long messages, there may be only a few lines 
                of comments.  People who use screen readers
                cannot glance over the message to find the 
                comments.  Each line has to be heard to determine
                if a comment is present.  (Many times a person
                using a screen reader hears, "greater, greater.."
                hundreds of times.)  The angle brackets borrowed        
                from XML are used to ensure uniqueness and to 
                allow a user to jump from the beginning of one  
                person's comments to the next by searching for 
                the angle brackets with initials. 
               

TIP: 		Mention at the top of your message that you have 
                surrounded your comments within your initial 
                tags.  Show this at the top and suggest searching
                for the start tag.
              



SUGGESTION 6: 	Do not use indenting to show organization of
              	thought or material unless you also include Outline
              	Labels such as 1,2,3 and a b c, or full word
              	labels.

Rationale:  	Spacial indenting is not detected by persons 
                using screen reading packages.  This is a form
                of visual formatting.
            	
TIP:   		For example this memo properly uses both indents
       		and labeling to indicate organization.



SUGGESTION 7:  	Put two blank lines before titles to make them
               	easier to find both visually and via search.

RATIONALE:   	Paragraphs are normally separated by one blank
             	line. Having two blank lines causes screen 
                reading packages to say "blank" twice.  Most 
                packages new email packages also let you search
                for the triple carriage return.  The extra white
                space is also helpful for persons with low          
             	vision.
             	


SUGGESTION 8:  	Send these recommendations to new list
               	subscribers. (And repeat as necessary).

RATIONALE:     	These recommendations are not in common use and
               	this will help the list to be a disability user
               	friendly list.


Ad Hoc Email Communication Guidelines Duo
Gregg and George
Received on Thursday, 26 February 2004 17:01:01 UTC

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