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Re: Alternate text channel vs. single one with universal design [subject renamed]

From: Steven McCaffrey <SMCCAFFR@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 08:59:44 -0400
Message-Id: <s70b1e99.026@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: rneff@moon.jic.com, empower@smart.net, telecom-l@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
** Reply Requested by 4/9/1999 (Friday) **

I agree with the goal of making a page readable by all.  The fact that which screen reader is used is also a variable in whether a given page is accessible is often not emphasized sufficiently. One small example is worth noting.
With regard to tables, the coffee example in the techniques document did *not* transform as described with my system.  I use JFW 3.2 and Internet Explorer 4.01 and used the "Reformat Page" function an advanced feature which I believe is not widely available across screen readers.  It is unfortunate that comments on the accessibility of a given page are not as precise as they should be.  Someone (or even group) of people might say "I found that site completely (in)accessible", implying, *incorrectly*, that anyone else in that class of visitor to that site (e.g. blind or visually impaired) should also conclude that the site is (in)accessible.  Often the following variables are unspecified: 
1. The particular page visited.
2. the web browser used ( including the version ).
3. the screen reader used ( including the version ).
4. The presence or absence of additional configuration files/scripts (and again, what version of these additional files?).
It is very important that we all agree on the set of variables and constants otherwise we will at best be talking passed each other.

Steven McCaffrey
Information Technology Services

>>> "Robert Neff" <rneff@moon.jic.com> 04/04 10:36 AM >>>
I am still waiting for the day when one page can be read by all.  as a
designer , manager, generally concerned about access, and trying to create
accessible sites, i am waiting for standards.  The content guidelines will
be a start, but i want to see a test configuration that details the minimum
browsers that the W3C supports.  We need to give the design community
metrics they can afford to implement.  When i say metrics, i mean one
graphical browser, one text, ont screen reader.  we need to get designers
and their managers buy-in and to tell them that there are over fifty
browsers that the community can use and need to test is ludicrous.

should we consider applying the same standards to browsers in the web
content guidelines as we do to requirements, for example:  Lynx, pwWebSpeak,
Netscape 4.5, IE 4.2, Opera, webtv, JFW would be a Priotity one and double
A.   Categories for browsers would be Graphical, Text, Voice, Screen
Reader - any other categories.

There has to be a phyiscal test standard.  We have started this with the Web
Content Guidelines, lets add a minimum browser test!  Could the Web
Characterization committe provide input as to the most popular browsers and
update the list on a quarterly basis?

Received on Wednesday, 7 April 1999 09:01:14 UTC

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