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Re: Practice Describing Pictures, anyone game?

From: Joel Sanda <joelsanda@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 15:23:17 MST
Message-ID: <19991110222317.7912.qmail@hotmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I would love to try. But I have some questions relating to blindess, and I 
suppose visual impairment. I am sighted, so these questions are very basic, 
but are nonetheless important for sighted developers who are trying to build 
accessible pages. These questions assume the person in question has been 
blind their entire life:

1. Color. Is color important if you're blind? How do you know what "red" is 
if you've been blind your entire life? I assume people who are color blind 
will understand shades - correct me if I'm wrong.

2. Shapes. How do I describe a classic Greecian column? Can geometic shapes 
be used (cylindrical, columnar, etc.)?

3. Distances. I imagine distances, either in feet or inches or miles or 
yards visually. I know the drive from my house to work is five miles. It 
takes me 30 minutes to bike it - that's the meaning of five miles to me. I 
can envision the lenght of creek along the route, the 1/4 mile long row of 
cottonwoods, and the horrible 2 mile stretch along a busy road.

4. Metaphors. Describing something visual to a sighted person who hasn't 
seen it is tough enough: we use other visual metaphors to make it easy, and 
make it work. What metaphors exist for the sighted to use when describing 
something to the blind?

5. Finally: sound. If we can't easily describe sound to a deaf person, how 
can we describe images/pictures to a blind person?

Sorry for all the questions...and they may seem strange in light of my 
agreement to try and describe the pictures...but I think this is a huge 
barrier in accessible web design. In my experience, most of my fellow 
webmasters can easily understand accessible web design, and like the idea, 
with a few minor caveats. But we have a real hard time understanding how to 
convert a visual meaning into a verbal (written) meaning.


>From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
>To: Subject: Practice Describing Pictures, anyone game?
>Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:18:41 -0800
>Accurately describing picture content is necessary for accessibility
>considerations, especially LONGDESC/D-Link.  However, giving good
>and useful picture descriptions is not as easy as it sounds; there
>is a certain art to it, and you can improve with practice.
>I recently went on a trip to Rome to speak at the E-Commerce
>Summit (http://www.e-commerce-summit.com/) and the day before
>the summit started, I went on a commercial tour of Rome and took
>many pictures of what I was seeing.  I would like to make these
>available on the web, and, as a practice exercise, I'd like to see
>if anyone (who can see my pictures) would be interested in helping
>to describe these pictures or at least evaluating the descriptions
>that I or someone else has provided.
>Anyone game?
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>Next Speaking Stop: New Orleans, 9 Dec 99    http://www.builder.com/live/
>CC/PP Builds the Future of the Web --> learn more at http://www.ccpp.org/

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Received on Wednesday, 10 November 1999 17:23:49 UTC

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