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RE: What's AT What's a screen reader

From: Steven Faulkner <steven.faulkner@nils.org.au>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 09:34:06 +1000
To: "W3c Wai Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OHEEKDBODCBIIKIGGIMDAEIMFPAA.steven.faulkner@nils.org.au>
David Woolley said:

 > (Tools like JAWS are AT, not screen readers.)

to quote Freedom Scientific 
"The most popular screen reader worldwide, JAWS(r) for Windows"

I asked a few of people  at work  to name a few "screen readers"
person 1 (web accessibility consultant) "JAWS, Window Eyes"
person 2 (screen reader user) "JAWS, Window Eyes"
person 3 (assistive technology engineer) "Window Eyes, JAWS, Supernova"

The term "screen reader" it appears, is associated in peoples minds with
software such as JAWS, 
even if the term does not exactly describe what the software does. Why when
there are so many important questions to be answered 
and problems to be solved in relation to accessibility do we need to argue
about the correctness of such a term?

the pedantry of some people amazes me...... 

best regards

"Web accessibility by any means necessary" 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Jim Thatcher
> Sent: Tuesday, 5 April 2005 8:29 AM
> To: 'David Woolley'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: What's AT What's a screen reader
> > s/day/say/
> don't you mean c/day/say?
> > To me a screen reader reads out exactly the displayed text.
> I think that distinction is not helpful. When screen readers 
> moved from DOS
> to the GUI we already were not always reading the screen (especially
> controls) though we hadn't moved into the object models yet. BUT - at any
> time you CAN read the screen if you want with screen readers HAL,
> Window-Eyes and JAWS. And you can do it with any application. That is what
> makes a screen reader, which happens to be one kind of assistive 
> technology.
> Jim 
> Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/
> 512-306-0931
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of David Woolley
> Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 3:34 PM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: What's AT What's a screen reader
> > 
> > 
> > David Woolley said:
> > 
> > > (Tools like JAWS are AT, not screen readers.)
> > 
> > I just couldn't leave it alone. What possesed you to day this? 
> s/day/say/
> To me a screen reader reads out exactly the displayed text.  It is a
> form of assistive technology, but tools like JAWS look at the underlying
> document model and render from that.
> A screen reader can only honour the visual media type.  More general
> AT need not, but probably will, be limited to the visual media type.

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Received on Monday, 4 April 2005 23:34:22 UTC

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