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RE: Strikethrough elements and JAWS

From: Derek Featherstone <feather@wats.ca>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 15:23:34 -0500
To: "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000f01c500c0$3f4f2740$fe01a8c0@faottcan001>

John Colby wrote:
> [jms] <blockquote> But I guess that we really need a technique where
>  we don;t have to fiddle with the defaults of JAWS - ad that seems
> like a job for the manufacturer to parse stuff sensibly from square
> 1. </blockquote>  

And John Slatin wrote:

> Actually, I think developers should follow the specification and use
> <del> and <ins>, etc., as they're meant to be used. It would be nice
> if screen readers, including but not limited to JAWS, could
> automatically switch into "proofreading" mode when they encounter
> those elements

I agree wholeheartedly that we shouldn't rely on tweaks to settings in
screen readers, and I also agree with John when he suggests a "proofreading
mode" (great idea, if nobody has already caught on to it). At the same time,
I'd suggest that there can be cases where it makes sense to suggest some
tweaks to users of certain types of technology.

If I recall correctly from earlier in the thread, this is an application
which isn't open for "general consumption". In that case, wouldn't it be
reasonable to make suggestions as to settings that should be used by people
using screen readers? Perhaps in an orientation guide, with a specific set
of suggestions for creating the "optimal profile" for screen reader settings
rather than the factory defaults. We're using that strategy for a current
project that has a very specific audience and isn't just an informational
web site. We are specifically calling it an orientation guide rather than
"help" -- too often "help" is reserved for information to help you when you
get stuck, not before you get started.

Doing so would serve two purposes:
1. Enables the user to more effectively use the application that has been
designed with semantics, standards, and accessibility in mind.
2. Helps the person/people using screen readers to become more effective
with their software - not just for the application in question, but for
everything they do. I don't think becoming more familiar with the
capabilities of their software is a bad thing.

Given the fact that this is an application, I'd like to think that education
should be one of the techniques that is considered to help with
accessibility...

Just some thoughts,
Derek.
-- 
Derek Featherstone     feather@wats.ca
phone: 613.599.9784;   toll-free: 1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Web Accessibility:  http://www.wats.ca
Personal: http://www.boxofchocolates.ca
Received on Saturday, 22 January 2005 20:24:50 GMT

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