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RE: Assistive Technology Detection

From: Andrews, David B (DEED) <david.b.andrews@state.mn.us>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 18:45:05 +0000
To: Ash Ta <duc.ta.740@gmail.com>, "tink@tink.uk" <tink@tink.uk>
CC: Patti Burke Lund <pburkelund@yahoo.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR09MB057023E89FF9E767BCF30A92ECE10@CY1PR09MB0570.namprd09.prod.outlook.com>
Another possible downside to AT detection is that you may find out what is running, so you should then use that info. Different AT behaves differently from other AT, JAWS, NVDA, and Dragon Naturally Speaking all may behave differently to ARIA, for example. Different AT/browser combinations may also behave differently. Thus, you end up with a long list of situations which each may need a slightly different approach. This opens up a huge can of worms.

It is better to develop to known standards, like WCAG, and encourage browsers, and others, to use those standards in consistent ways.


David Andrews | Chief Technology Officer
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
State Services for the Blind
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Direct: 651-539-2294
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From: Ash Ta [mailto:duc.ta.740@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:56 AM
To: tink@tink.uk
Cc: Patti Burke Lund <pburkelund@yahoo.com>; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Assistive Technology Detection

I would rather go to general concept in developing universal accessible  website than tailoring to certain specific. It is certain that it is not impossible to detect AT (JAWS or NVDA) in the website. I think I read something called detecting something running using host via IE and X-content or something. It is a really long time I read that. I used to have the same thought like you until we tried to develop universal accessible content

Duc Ta

On Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 9:41 AM, LĂ©onie Watson <tink@tink.uk<mailto:tink@tink.uk>> wrote:

On 25/01/2018 17:04, Patti Burke Lund wrote:
"I understand accessibility needs to be integrated into every aspect of your website. I was wondering if there is any way to detect whether a user is using support for their disability and then adjust your website to support them even more? Kind of similar to the way Responsive Web Design detects browser window size then adjusts accordingly?"

It's possible to do this with native apps on mobile platforms, but not with websites and webapps.

It's also an extremely controversial idea because it has implications for privacy, quality, maintenance, and a few other things besides. Here's my take on it as a screen reader user:

Thank you!


Patti Burke Lund
Colorado State University | Journalism & Media Communication
patricia.burke-lund@colostate.edu<mailto:patricia.burke-lund@colostate.edu> | pburkelund@yahoo.com<mailto:pburkelund@yahoo.com> | www.colostate.edu<http://www.colostate.edu>
LinkedIn <https://www.linkedin.com/in/pburkelund/>

@LeonieWatson @tink@toot.cafe Carpe diem



Duc Ta

IT Consultant

Tel:   (323) 412-4894


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Received on Thursday, 25 January 2018 19:01:24 UTC

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