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Mapping for the disability community

From: Kristina Seyer Smith <kristina@bonair.stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 21:20:05 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <4220.171.66.213.10.1209615605.squirrel@bonair.stanford.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hello All,

I would like more information on what is needed to make a map and/or image
JAWS accessible.

Also, I believe a technique could be done for the blind/sight impaired by
using a pin table that I saw at a conference, that distributes terrain
models. I sent a link about it to this list a few years ago.  Of course,
the map characteristics would need to be simplified, which is very
possible with GIS symbol replacement. It could possibly be used to teach
letters and braille too.

What data/image/vector formats are read by screen readers?
What types of attributes can they pick up from an image or vector file? 
Is Jaws able to read map-related metadata and in what format?  SVG?

For example, would screen readers be able read the road names and
addresses, that are associated with the lines in a GIS system?
GML?  Are they FGDC compliant?

Also, and this was partly answered before I sent my response...

What are the basic data elements in a map that are useful to the
disability community, and can these be categorized and prioritized?
Also, what types of information that might be attached to map features,
would the disability community want to see?

For example:
Accessible Parking - Attribute - Parking Lot Name, Spaces Available
Points of Access to Buildings - Attribute - Bldg Address?
TTY locations in bldgs
etc.

The University of Washington has set a great example for mapping
disability access information, that we have been following.

Thanks,
Kristina Seyer Smith
Manager of Maps and Records/Spatial Information/GIS
Stanford University, Land, Buildings and Real Estate



On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 5:31 PM, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
wrote:
>
>  Scott Plumlee wrote:
>
>
> > I believe Derek Featherstone (boxofchocolates.ca) gave a
> > presentation about making Google maps accessible at AEA Chicago last
> > year
> >
>
>  Just to clarify, as Derek and I somehow happened to work on similar
> things concurrently and exchange notes last year...this presentation
> was about making Google maps *keyboard accessible* to sighted users.
> Making actual graphical maps accessible to blind users is a whole
> different ballgame, and some (including myself) might argue that it's
> not technically feasible - even if you make something like Google maps
> perfectly technically accessible, the interface and data paradigms
> themselves may not be suitable to blind users.
>
>  This is one of those situations where a completely separate approach
> targeting the specific needs of users with a particular disability may
> actually be useful. Key would be to get opinions and recommendations
> from actual users on what type of information and service would work
> best for them.
>
>  P
>  --
>  Patrick H. Lauke

Apologies for mis-stating.  I should have looked back at my notes and
clarified my memory.
Received on Thursday, 1 May 2008 04:20:40 GMT

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