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Re: "maybe even in the fact that you use words as all," (sic)

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 14:00:44 +0100
Cc: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, www-svg <www-svg@w3.org>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <8E7574B4-51F1-4E52-97EE-AFF2D97FADEB@btinternet.com>
To: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>

you don't appear to have considered or responded to my final remark  
which develops my intention:

 >> the failure of W3 working groups to engage with this community has  
ensured the have become even more socially disadvantaged and ostracized.

I wasn't making specific proposal,
your assumptions  and suggested assertions are far from the mark.
There is a huge variety in approach and many varieties of individual  

did you watch the video, or try the examples?
it seems not, as they use text with a variety of illustrations, some  
iconic, others symbolic.

what is your experience of learning disabilities?
this term has been applied to a variety of needs.
the 20% of people in the UK are functionally illiterate, whom I  
referred to, are unlikely to be at Royal Holloway.
learning difficulties such as dyslexia are a different community.

the fact is the relation between text and image is one that needs to  
be actively developed.
treating them as separate entities when creating specifications, isn't  
necessarily helpful.


Jonathan Chetwynd


+44 (0) 20 7978 1764

On 17 Jul 2008, at 10:00, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:

> Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>> Re: "maybe even in the fact that you use words as all," (sic)
>> Bert,
>> but what about if you don't?
>> like the relatively large community of people with learning  
>> disabilities.
>> about 20% of people in the UK are functionally illiterate.
>> you can try out or watch a short video here:
>> http://www.openicon.org
> I'm not entirely sure what point Jonathan is
> making here (I wasn't helped by the fact that
> the subject line has intentionally been changed
> from "Applying SVG properties to non-SVG content"),
> but if (as I believe) he is asserting that people
> with learning disabilities cannot/do not use words
> (never mind "at all"), then this seems a massive
> overstatement to me.  In my experience, people with
> learning difficulties are helped if textual material
> is presented in a simple and straightforward way, but
> then Sir Ernest Gowers was arguing that such a style
> is beneficial for all over fifty years ago [1](sadly
> his advice is almost always ignored : "engage with
> stakeholders to identify relevant issues and determine
> materiality. develop internal frameworks for managing
> the reporting process" is a genuine example of a style
> of writing all too common these days ...
> But then Jonathan goes on refer the interested
> reader to http://www.openicon.org/, and at this point
> he lost me completely.  Jonthan, are you suggesting that
> (perhaps within a restricted universe of discourse)
> icons can /replace/ text ?  If so, I would venture
> to suggest that this is no more realistic than expecting
> a person with learning disabilities to understand the
> management-speak cited above.  Just as there are those
> who find words difficult or opaque, so there are those
> who find icons equally so, and I for one find their use
> on (say) airline safety sheets, or instructions for
> the assembly of something, a massive hindrance to
> my comprehension thereof.
> Philip TAYLOR
> --------
> [1] http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/gowerse/complete/
Received on Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:01:29 UTC

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