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Re: ADD Comments from a D201 Student

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 17:44:59 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
At 2001-10-04 14:56, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>Hi everyone, what follows is a message from a student in my D201
>accessibility course, who has ADD.  One of the reading assignments
>is the "how people use the web" draft, and she has specific
>comments on how difficult she found it to read.  In addition, she
>has comments on the user interface for the online course.
>One of the required reading urls is an excellent example of something
>that is *very* difficult for someone with Attention Deficit.
>The URL: http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html

>If you look at the article, there are links throughout the text as
>examples of common problems for the disabled.  However, for someone
>with ADD, this makes it extremely difficult to keep focused on the
>topic at hand:  there is just too much too fast.

Many readers, ADD or otherwise, learn by practice, the
importance of following the references. For a first reading,
often such references are skipped.

I do not understand why an ADD reader wouldn't be taught
that practice.

>  You are reading
>along and see a link so you click it which takes you to a different
>page.  People without ADD can do this and come back and continue
>Someone who has Attention deficit gets lost and confused *very*
>easily going back and forth among the pages just to complete a
>sentence.  It is a nightmare to keep up with it all to say the

This suggests some clue on the links (important|informative)
much as WCAG had suggested to warn of links that lead to costly

In the Digital Talking Book DTD we have an attribute on
     render (optional|required) #IMPLIED
that can give the book reader a preference choice to skip:
     <prodnote render="optional">...</prodnote>.
The book producer can mark some as required presentation:
     <prodnote render="required">...</prodnote>.

In HTML or XHTML if we used a stylesheet to sense and perhaps
display differently < a href="..." class="optional">...</a>,
that might help any reader, not just the ADD reader, to sense
the significance of that link.

>A better way:  put the example in a special section at the *end*
>of the thought, not a link in the middle of the sentence.

We habitually use the "meaning" of the text in the
<a href="...">...</a> as an indicator of what is being linked.

I expect that can pile up if there are several. and need
differentiation. [but the model for this use is footnote
references, identifying marks usually at the end of a sentence or 
paragraph. They are less obtrusive, so one may easily skip
over whatever they reference.]

>Also, making the page printable is very helpful:  it takes the
>distraction of being able to click out of the picture.
>In fact, *this* web site [the course web site] has too many
>different places to store information:  It'd be easier for me to
>see all the reading material on one page under different topics
>instead of having to go to different pages to get all the
>For example:
>Chapters 1 & 4
>Hands On
>1.  Disable the Javascript
>2.  bla
>3.  bla
>Additional Resources
>1.  URL
>2.  URL
>3.  URL
>News Articles
>Review Questions
>That way, all the information is in one place, and I don't have to
>dig for it.  The key to it is:  THERE IS A PROCESS TO FOLLOW.
>The more a person with ADD has to dig, the more likely he/ she is
>to get lost.  It is incredible frustrating:  there *must* be a clear
>process to go through.
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
>Technical Developer Liaison, Reef             http://www.reef.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
>Online Instructor, Accessible Web Design     http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 17:45:22 UTC

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