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RE: Copywriting for Screenreaders

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 09:48:24 -0500
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB5076DE000@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: "Tina Holmboe" <tina@greytower.net>, "Janet Russeau" <russeau@misd.k12.mi.us>
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> This is also a problem with user testing.  A visually impaired user
> with long 'net experience and JAWS find-tuned to the hilt will give
> vastly different results from someone just starting out with both.

I have been using screen readers for over fifteen years, but I am not blind.  I am no longer confident doing web and software testing without the assistance of a blind colleague.

> I suggest that you do get these programs, and use them like a normal
> user would. At first you'll probably feel abit uncomfortable; after a
> while you'll learn the application and your experiences with both it
> and webpages will change.

I cannot concur with the above advice.  I am much more familiar with JAWS than Window Eyes.  JAWS has unique mechanisms for interacting with tables, forms, link lists, and search.  Unless the sites are trivial, you are in for a world of frustration and misdirection.  You need to remove your mouse for days at time, but first you need to learn screen reader specific navigation paradigms for web browsing.  The ways you have become accustomed to using the tab and cursor keys will no longer function the same once JAWS is running.

If you don't have the luxury of working with a blind colleague, I would recommend IBM's Home Page Reader over JAWS or Window Eyes.
Received on Monday, 14 February 2005 14:48:58 UTC

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