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aids not solutions? was: The following examples highlight use of some accessibility solutions:

From: jonathan chetwynd <jc@signbrowser.org.uk>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 23:42:40 +0000
To: love26@gorge.net (William Loughborough), Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Message-Id: <01010623424002.00958@localhost.localdomain>
I've attempted to create a synopsis of something like ~100 clients that I 
see regularly. Not many have downs syndrome, and labelling them is not a 
'great' help to most people.
Very few of them will ever find work, let alone paid employment that is 

In the scenario that follows, I've tried to describe the benefits of 
commercial sites as well as sites designed for this group.

I'd like to:

see something visual with sound effects on the wai site, 
a photo (actor?) helps identification immensely. we can see how old they 
are... And we can use that fabled alt tag.

pat people on the back for providing stimulation that is suitable and 
accessible to my clients, without worrying too much about the alt tags. (mp3, 
flash, shockwave, realmedia, java..... any or all) ok it helps to have text 
equivalents, it also helps to have multimedia equivalents, signing and 
symbols, & precis....

recognises that we have serious and possibly long term, problems addressing 
cognitive disabilty, but are making small steps.


Katie is 40 she has a learning disability and lives at home with her 
parents. She has mental health problems and tends to get lost in complex 
arguments.  She is lively, intelligent, and has a point of view, and in most 
respects has the needs and abilities of any adult. 

Every weekday a bus collects her, and takes her to a day centre and onto 
college, where she can browse the web. She enjoys signing with others, and 
benefits greatly when reading from the occassional use of symbols. She has 
the reading age of a 4 year old, and is a keen student. She has tried 
dictation software and text readers, with mixed results. Ataxia means that 
she has problems with a mouse, and prefers pages that don't contain scroll 
bars. She is not in a position to spend much money so banner ads are wasted.

Her reading and writing skills enable her to use a search engine. She 
generally copies words from tapes or newspapers. However she usually needs 
help, to interprete the results, which rarely contain relevent images.

She loves music and TV soaps. She finds that some sites provide small images 
of stars  with links to music, videos, games and even webcams. She benefits 
most when their are only a few words and links on a page, all of which are 
relevent to her interests. Then she knows what she likes. She listens and 
watches, and often creates original artwork in another window. Copies 
keywords,  and prints out relevant images and text. She is always adding to 
her portfolio (or diary) of interests.

Katie is not quite ready to browse the web on her own yet, but she's learning 
how, and the technology is moving her way. 

I've been in bed all day with flu, its late, and i'll probably now need 
another day in bed.


Jonathan Chetwynd
Learning Difficulties teacher(IT)
Received on Saturday, 6 January 2001 18:47:15 UTC

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