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Re: AOL drops e-mail address for accessibility

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 12:43:35 -0500
To: Kelly Pierce <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <BC89D5F7.27939%andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>


On 3/24/04 11:00 PM, "Kelly Pierce" <kpierce2000@earthlink.net> wrote:

> I wrote to AOL using its e-mail address listed on its accessibility web page
> (AOLAccessibility@aol.com)
> and received the bounced message below.  Apparently, AOL access is not
> functioning either as an e-mail address or as a company concept.
> Its new media player does not have a means to control volume that is
> accessible to the blind.  it is controlled using a slide bar and mouse only.

I do know that the aolaccessibility@aol.com address is still functioning.  I
don't know why your message bounced, but I know from my contact at AOL that
they are aware of the issue that you raise and I'm cc'ing them on this
message so they can contact you directly.

Keyboard and screen reader control of embedded media players is uniformly
poor, and this version of the aol media player is no exception.  The
Quicktime player, when embedded will allow some control of the media player
controls (volume, next/previous song, etc.), but no embedded player gives
the same level of control as the standalone version of the same player.

I know AOL will be interested in hearing your observations and wishes, but
you might also want to raise the issue with the radio station that is using
the player and ask that they provide a link to open the stream in a
standalone player. 

I agree that this is an issue that should be addressed, and the fact that
other embedded players doesn't provide justification for the inaccessibility
of the media player, but I don't think that a blanket dismissal of AOL's
accessibility efforts is appropriate.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Project Manager, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
125 Western Ave.
Boston, MA  02134

617-300-4420 (direct voice/FAX)
617-300-3400 (main NCAM)
617-300-2489 (TTY)
Received on Friday, 26 March 2004 12:44:46 UTC

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