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Re: role of authoring tools [Fwd: EOWG: Agenda for 7 July 2006 Teleconference]

From: Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 11:32:36 -0700
To: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>,"EOWG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <web-7084517@romulus.csulb.edu>

Dear Group,

I'm still working it out in my mind, 
on the output issue for authoring 
tools. My term is "universally 
perceivable text", or just "universal 
text" or "accessible text".
To me text is the content of verbal 
communication. It can be spoken, 
signed or printed in many formats. It 
can be dynamic or real-time media or 
it can be static as in Braille or 
print for visual reading. Only certian 
forms of text can be recovered by 
programs with perfect accuracy. 
Accessible HTML is one form. To be 
universally percievable, text must be 
able to be converted to any 
presentation of that text by a machine 
with 100% accuracy. This means 
perfectly accurate rendering of text 
content and logical structure as well 
as textual alternatives of non-textual 
data where perfect translation is 
A bottom line for a authoring tools is 
to produce universally percievable 
text. Icing on the cake would be to 
add translator to widely used 
universally percievable text formats 
-- like HTML.

I may sound a little obsessive on 
this, but we receive a lots of 
"e-text" for student's textbooks. 
 Very little is accessible text.  Even 
if we can get the context of text we 
rarely can reproduce the logical 
structure.  So searching by headings 
is not possible.  Also, my university 
system has thousands of professors 
acting independently producing text 
for students to read as part of their 
curriculum.  Nothing is produced by 
authoring tools that encourage 
universally percievable text.

The burden of transcription is on the 
student and the disabled student 
services. The work backlog for student 
services is impossible to complete. 
 Disabled students often spend the 
first five weeks of 15 week semesters 
getting accessible text material that 
is necessary for academic success.


Wayne Dick PhD
Chair Computer Engineering and 
Computer Science, CSU, Long Beach
Coordinator of Academic Technology 
Accessibility, CSU System
Received on Monday, 10 July 2006 18:32:43 UTC

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