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Re: Are forms accessible

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 21:24:17 -0500 (EST)
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.971030211743.4349D-100000@clark.net>
Hi Scot!
At different times in my life, I might give different answers to this
question, but let's consider a couple of things.  I may be stating the
obvious here, but please bear with me.  Forms are variably accessible
depending on 1> the product, and 2> the reciever.
the product is the form and what has generated it.  the reciever is the
"browser" if you will and the interface to it.  these interact with each
other in subtle ways and a number of mixes emmerge.  The purest
deffinition for access in this case is can a form be read, comprehended
and compleeted by anyone who has the mental cpacity to do so.  the best
way to insure this as far as I can tell is to make the form a simple fill
in the blank rather than having buttons which imply and require the
application of something on the recievers end which may or may not be
I hope this answers your enquiry or at least takes us in an appropriate
I tell people not to redesign their forms, just provide an alternate means
of access to them so that they may be serviced.  for instance, can I email
my response or quiry?  can I phone it in or mail it in?
cn I ask for a form in email which is structured differently but provides
the same data?

On Thu, 30 Oct 1997, Scott Luebking wrote:

> Hi,
> A question I keep running into is whether forms are accessible or not.
> Some aspects to take in consideration are:
> 1.  If some blind computer users can access forms, are they accessible?
> 2.  If a person has a preferred screen reader which doesn't work with
>     forms, are they accessible?
> 3.  If it takes blind computer users three times longer to use forms
>     than sighted users, are forms accessible?
> 4.  If blind users make more errors using forms than sighted users,
>     are forms accessible?
> If forms are not considered accessible, what are the implications for
> all those applications which let users interact with online databases?
> Are all these applications inaccessible if forms are the only interface
> provided?  Does this mean that for online systems, non-form based
> interfaces must also be provided?
> If forms are considered inaccessible, what are the implications
> under 504, 508, ADA etc?
> Scott

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Received on Thursday, 30 October 1997 21:24:45 UTC

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