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Re: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 15:48:45 -0400
Message-Id: <199906071953.PAA18140@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: "jonathan chetwynd" <jay@peepo.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear Jonathan,

I respect what your are trying to do at http://www.pepo.com/ and I think
better computer access for non-readers is an important field.  I don't
think you should expect much more out of the WAI in this area though!

For what it is worth, Bill Gates (and others) are hard at work at this
because, after all, if you make computers easier for persons with cognitive
disabilities to use, you make computers easier for everyone to use, and
then you get to sell more computers!  Windows is hard to use (that is, it
requires literacy) because the best minds have not been able to figured out
how to make it otherwise!

It seems to me that you seem to arguing against the written language! 
Picture-based alphabets have been tried (hieroglyphics) and are still in
use (Chinese characters).  Is the meaning of sentences in these languages
any more intuitive or transparent to the non-reader?  I think not!

If you are really interested in seeing how far you can go with a
picture-based approach, you should IMHO, whole-heartedly adopt one of the
available icon-based languages.  Some available places to start:

Bliss Symbols Home Page from Blissymbolics Communication International:

MinSpeak Frequently Asked Questions from Symantic Compaction System (sadly,
no picture examples):

What are the Picture Communication Symbols (PCS)? from Mayer Johnson:

You may also be interested in this "Universal Picture Language" which is
much newer than any of the above, but perhaps closer to what your are
looking for:

I can't vouch for that the last reference, but Bliss, MinSpeak, and PCS
have all been used for effective communication by non-reader FOR YEARS.  If
anyone wants more Bliss, MinSpeak, or PCS links, let me know off the list.


Bruce Bailey, DORS Webmaster

> From: jonathan chetwynd <jonathan@signbrowser.free-online.co.uk>
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: QED & Marshall McLuhan
> Date: Monday, June 07, 1999 3:24 AM
> Members will be aware that by far the majority of the w3c site is text
> based. For non readers with cognitive disability, it comes close to being
> paradigm or inaccessability. I wish to draw  the attention of all of you
> this deficit.
> The code for a(ny) site is textual and essential, however if we all had
> read and understand this before visiting a site, no one would bother.
> Could we please try to demonstrate by example before explaining the
> This system has a very ancient precedent QED. quad erat demonstrandum, or
> what was to be shown.
> Two examples of the problems that will occur presently,
> 1    Recently there was a request for information on colour, to attempt
> define
> this with words is derisable. It is difficult enough to penetrate the
> methods used by experts.
> 2    I have been asked offline to help identify games sites that are w3c
> accessible. I consider this to be virtually impossible, however without
> specific examples it is nonsense.
> first demonstrate what you wish then explain.
> W3C desperately needs to simplify its goals and practice what it is
> preaching.
> jay@peepo.com
> Our site www.peepo.com is a drive thru.
> When you see a link of interest, click on it.
> Move the mouse to slow down.
> It is a graphical aid to browsing the www.
> We value your comments.
Received on Monday, 7 June 1999 15:53:26 UTC

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