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Re: The visual Web vs. seamless accessibility (was Re: RIT - Javascript)

From: R. Dolloff <averil@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 16:01:51 -0500
Message-Id: <199805042059.QAA15005@cliff.concentric.net>
To: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Liam Quinn wrote:

>This issue points out one of my main bones of contention with the WAI and
>the blind community.  It seems that many accessibility experts and blind
>users view the Web as a visual medium, and so they seek to describe Web
>pages visually in the name of accessibility.  I view the Web as an
>information medium, neither visual nor non-visual since the presentation is
>determined chiefly by the user and her browsing environment, with
>suggestions from the author.

>As an author, my goal is to provide Web pages so that each user feels that
>the page is designed specifically for her, regardless of her abilities and
>browsing environment at the time.  If you were designing a page
>specifically for an aural browser, you wouldn't include an image.  For this
>reason, I wouldn't want an aural user to hear ALT text like "[Snowflake]"
>or "XYZ Company Logo".
>When we try to tell the aural user that "There's an image here", we're
>saying that "This Web page is visual--it isn't made for you or your
>browsing environment."  I want to convince the aural user, and every other
>user, that the page is designed specifically for her.  This is true
>accessibility and it's seamless.
>>The question of whether the graphic is gratuitous has been
>>decided by the author, not the user.

And then there are the blind web designers out here who LIKE knowing graphics
are on a site and how they were used. I'm frequently altering my position too,
as I basically agree with Liam, but this particular issue is "iffy," in my
opinion, subject to the author's discretion. I maintain it's better to have
much information than not enough, particularly as web pages are often used as
learning tools for others.

Ree' Dolloff
business: designs by dolloff - http://dbdweb.com
personal:  avenue averil - http://www.concentric.net/~Averil
Received on Monday, 4 May 1998 17:00:00 UTC

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