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RE: User Agent Types - palmtops

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 12:12:36 -0600
Message-Id: <199901041811.MAA27727@staff1.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
In response to charles.
In my interpretation of the user agent types, if a palmtop has
text-to-speech capabilites and uses text-to-speech to render the a WWW
document then to be compatible with the guidelines it must implement the
user agent type techniques associated with auditory rendering.  Whether it
is done by the developer or through assistive technology, the guidelines
would not care.  The guidelines only care about the funcational user
interface as the result for that user agent media type.  

I am not sure how many palmtop developers would include text-to-speech for
just disability access. But since there are many other reasons to include
text-to-speech capabilities, let us have guidelines for that media type to
help them make it accessible to people with disabilities that can beenfit
from that media type.  It is the media type that is important, not whether
it is a plamtop or desktop; naive or through assistive technology that is
important for our guidelines.  Although we may want to have a media type
that is related to the LCD displays found on palmtop devices.

I do agree that palmtops are potentially very useful to persons with
disabilities for many types of tasks, but we need to focus on WWW access.
There are other groups that are working on some of the other issues you
mention.  If you or others are interested, I would suggest contacting the
trace center.  I beleive they are doing a lot of work on access that
includes palmtop technologies (www.trace.wisc.edu).  We may want to
consider having a Kiosk media type that could reference the use of palmtop
technology for Kiosks based on WWW technology.  But I think this should not
be a primary task at this time.


At 02:29 PM 1/2/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>I am not sure if this is the case, and I doubt that it will continue to be
>the case. Palmtops are capable of interfacing with computer devices, and
>could be used for example to provide assistive access to kiosks, ATMs and
>other public information devices. They are also, in essence, little
>computers which can run software. Since they could be used as a personal
>assistive device, a User agent designed for a palmtop should where
>possible provide an interface. More to the point, if we say now that this
>is not necessary, and then decide in a year or two that it would have been
>a good idea, we are doing a disservice to developers. If we think that it
>is not very useful now, but we expect it to be necessary in two years, we
>should flag that by requiring it 'where possible'. That provides a
>common-sense test. It also notifies designers now that their products may
>have to be extended to provide a particular functionality in the future -
>this can make life a lot easier than having to retrofit accessibility into
>a product afterwards.
>Charles McCathieNevile
>On Fri, 1 Jan 1999, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>  Technologies like palm tops I do not think have any assistive technologies,
>  so it maybe impossible for it to be compatible with assistive technology.
>  If it wants to provide access to people with visual impiarments it would
>  need to directly implement the user agent techniques that appply to Braille
>  ad Auditory rendering.
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Monday, 4 January 1999 13:11:49 UTC

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