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Contacting isolani

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 04:20:14 +0000 (UTC)
To: www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0709060419440.16196@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>


In regard to:
http://www.isolani.co.uk/blog/access/ScreenReadersAWebDeveloperFailure

I agree that screen readers are essential. That doesn't excuse the poor 
state they're in though. Just installing JAWS8 (with the screen off) was a 
painful experience. It told me to hit Enter, then lost the focus of the 
install window, without telling me, so that "Enter" actually started the 
installer again. The configuration component of JAWS8 is amongst some of 
the worst UI I have seen, period, and that's entirely up to the JAWS team 
-- you can't blame MSAA or the Web authors or anyone except the JAWS team 
for that.

Regarding paragraphs: while it is not a good idea to pause at the end of 
every paragraph, it *would* be a good idea to at least pause as much 
between paragraphs as JAWS pauses between sentences. Often JAWS will read 
the penultimate sentence of a paragraph, pause, read the last sentence of 
the paragraph, and then immediately without pause continue to the first 
sentence of the next paragraph. That's not necessary.

HTML5 will hopefully help with many problems faced by screen readers (e.g. 
the "irrelevant" attribute should be a big help to reduce the dependence 
on visual stylesheets, and the detailed instructions on the creation of 
alternative text, the algorithms for determining header cell / data cell 
association, and the algorithms for determining section heading 
associations should also help).

We have invited screen reader vendors to the Working Group. It is, after 
all, a completely open group -- anyone is welcome. I'm trying to get in 
touch with members of some AT vendors directly to get them to partake in 
the discussion (right now the only AT vendor I know of in the working 
group is Apple).

FWIW, I've been involved in the Web for coming on ten years now, and I 
don't recall ever hearing screams from them before.

We have had some usability studies done for the HTML WG with a 
blind-from-birth user, but more is always welcome.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 6 September 2007 04:20:40 UTC

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