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Re: Braille on the QuickTips card?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 11:23:46 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19991027110542.00a38c00@pop3.concentric.net>
To: "jonathan chetwynd" <jonathan@signbrowser.free-online.co.uk>
Cc: WAI Education & Outreach Working Group <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
aloha, jonathan!

you wrote:
  However You are already aware of the aims of WAI and the braille
  on the Quicktips card adds nothing to your knowledge

on the contrary -- it tells me that i'm about to hand the QuickTips card to
someone and not a business card from the Chinese-Italian restaurant down the
street...  a big difference as regards accessibility, although i suppose that
handing off the restaurant's card could be conceived as a contribution to

ok, i made that last point tongue-in-cheek, but the point is, both the
distributor of the card and the recipient of the card benefit from the braille,
no matter how minimal...

as for your observation:
  In my experience very few links tell one where one is going. www.w3.org/wai
  says nothing without a context.

i must ask, have you ever considered using speech synthesis as an adjunct to
your mode of traversing the web?  i know a lot of people with little or no
visual impairment, whose access to information and productivity have
dramatically increased as a result of their using speech output to supplement
the visual aspects of working on a computer...

the reason i ask is because of the way that my screen-reader, Jaws For Windows,
handles the TITLE attribute when it is defined for the A element...

case in point -- my personal web site, Camera Obscura

when you first arrive at Camera Obscura, you hear the following:

Welcome to Camera Obscura, the womb without a view...

the words "womb without a view" are a hyperlink that leads to a meta-index of
Blindness-Related Resources on the Web and Beyond, and since i realize that
this is not self-evident from the hyperlink text, i have defined a TITLE for
the hyperlink that explicitly states: "Blindness-Related Resources on the Web
and Beyond"...  when tabbed-to using JFW and MSIE, the link TITLE is spoken,
rather than the hyperlink text, just as, when one uses a pointing device to
point to the hyperlink, the ToolTip "Blindness-Related Resources on the Web and
Beyond" is displayed...

another illustration can be found in the encoding of the auto-validation
buttons at the bottom of all of my pages...  because i still do ninety-nine
percent of my encoding by hand, and often in the middle of the night, i find
the auto-validation buttons an effective and easy way to catch any mistakes i
may have made in my HTML or CSS...  now, the ALT text for the "Valid HTML"
button  reads: "W3C Validated HTML4!", but the TITLE for the hyperlink reads:
"Validate this page's HTML, courtesy of the W3C HTML Validator"...  thus, when
image loading is turned off, the hyperlink text appears as "W3C Validated
HTML!", but the TITLE, which is exposed visually as a ToolTip on MouseOver, and
spoken by JFW when the button is tabbed-to, reads "Validate this page's HTML,
courtesy of the W3C HTML Validator"

my point is that it is easy to add context to a link, which is why i have begun
to remove every instance of a hyperlinked URI from my pages....  why?  i find
it more intuitive to use the phrase quote comments, corrections, and
suggestions unquote or quote email the maintainer of this page unquote as the
hyperlink text for a mailto link than to use my actual email address as the
hyperlink text...  the same goes for URIs -- it is, i believe, more logical to
use the phrase quote hypertext archive of past posts to the EO mailing list
unquote as the hyperlink text in a link that points to this list's mail
archive, than it would be to use the actual URI of the mail archive as the
hyperlink text...


He that lives on Hope, dies farting
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
   WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Wednesday, 27 October 1999 11:17:48 UTC

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