RE: Question out of ignorance

At 09:15 AM 2000-08-30 -0700, you wrote:
>Do you have any information on the scope and numbers of people using
>Accessibility devices on the Internet?

No I don't, myself.

I am copying the Education and Outreach Working Group who may have a better
handle on this than I.

I have seen numbers on the order of 50 million Americans with Disabilities
e.g. at <> and numbers purporting to show
a) that people with disabilities are proportionately _less_ connected to
Internet, and conversely that b) they are proportionately _more_ connected
than the background population.

This does not address the question of how many of these people have
disabilities un-related to Internet use, so they do not require special
technology or settings adaptation for Internet-related functions.

See also HalfThePlanet.COM for another take on this.


PS: EO:  This is a frequently asked question.  If we had a FAQ linked from
the WAI home page header, we might want it to address this question.

>Larry Roberts
>(site under construction)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: []On
>Behalf Of Al Gilman
>Sent: Monday, August 28, 2000 4:37 PM
>Subject: Re: Question out of ignorance
>[sent to Cassandra Thomas; here's a copy for the list, finally... -Al]
>At 03:16 PM 2000-08-28 -0400, you wrote:
>>I work for a consulting group which offeres a web usability service. Part
>>our service is of course we check to see if a web site is meeting W3C
>>standards and whether a text-to-speech reader can navigate the site (sadly
>>which i must say always seems to be no). I currently have the lab set-up
>>using IBM homepage reader for our text-to-speech test - we also use Bobby,
>>test i.e., netscape, opera,  use Lynx, etc. Is the IBM product the most
>>representative product for this type of test? Is there a product more
>>use or one that would be a more universal test of what most
>>visually-impaired users rely on?
>As I understand it, running a screen reader to reproduce the actual
>interface experienced by a screen reader user is a non-trivial skill.  It
>takes some significant investment in learning the tool, and it doesn't
>always give visual feedback on what the screen reader is doing.
>A significant virtue of HomePage Reader is that it is an easy way to
>present what is going on with coordinated sight and sound.  pwWebSpeak is
>also good in this regard.
>Lynx only gives you the sight, but using it is often enough to grasp the
>issues underlying a potential screen-reader usability failure.
>What is important about all of these is that they show you the effect
>within the rapid-fire interactive process of read a little, follow a link,
>read a little, follow a link, etc.
>It may make more sense to get evaluation services applied to a sample of
>your pages or questionable issues from people who are customary screen
>reader drivers, than to try to make competent screen reader drivers out of
>all the people engaged in evaluation.
>Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that, by one quick technique, gets to
>everything you want to catch and explains what was wrong with what was
>Someone in your organization should be systematically comparing your
>methods against the Techniques for Accessibility Evaluation and Repair
>Tools (AERT) published as a working draft on 22 August 2000. Also refer to
>the change log.  Start at <> to find both
>of these.
>This will give you a more fine-grained checklist you can run through and
>ask "in our process, how are we providing an equivalent check?"  It makes
>good sense to make Bobby and HPR, for example, the workhorses at the center
>of your process; but you should understand when other tools might be
>necessary and how to use them.
>By the way, the Evaluation and Repair group needs feedback from people like
>you who are doing evaluations in a production environment, to see how

>practical their suggested methods are.
>What do others think?
>>Cassandra Thomas
>>Research Associate
>>Giga Information Group
>>W.Phone 408-327-4337
>>Cell 408-505-3887
>>Voicemail 408-327-4357

Received on Wednesday, 30 August 2000 13:08:11 UTC