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Re: A few thoughts on using dynamic web pages to improve

From: Claude Sweet <sweetent@home.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 10:05:01 -0800
Message-ID: <38319CCD.8498F379@home.com>
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
CC: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
"Leonard R. Kasday" wrote:
> >I'm not clear that it is very useful to push for the same presentation for
> >sighted and blind users.  The issue is whether efficiency is more
> important or
> >communication.
> Well like I say I'm pushing for both so user has choice of the optimally
> formatted page like the ones your talking about, or the default page with
> access features, so that people with disabilities are seeing the same page.
> I believe that your point is: given finite resources by page authors do we
> want to ask them to put in the effort to make the default page accessible
> or focus their attention on the dynamically generated page.
> I've tried to echo what I've heard, albeit in a slightly different context,
> from users who are blind.  At this point I'm going to defer to opinions
> from those users whom I'm sure we'll be hearing from directly.

Is it possible for the initial page to provide the user with an option
requiring an affirmative response to the question "Do you require pages
formatted for users with specific disabilities?". The default would be
any page layout designed by the designer that would be received by all
other users. 

Might it be possible to actually set a command on the browser used by
the disabled user so the web site would send a query and automatically
send the user to the proper page maximized for the user's specific

A second page would allow the user to select from a menu with major
categories such as vision impaired with sub menus of color blind, text
reader, etc.

Such pages would be generated by a dynamic generator that uses a central
data base of information to create the specialized page requested by and
sent to the individual user.

Could the same concept be used to create pages designed to generate text
maximized for users in the following categories:

1. third grade
2. sixth grade
3. ninth grade
4. twelfth grade
5. college
6. post graduate school?

Hypertext computer assisted programs written by teachers use links from
specific words to more detailed descriptions and discussions. This
approach allows people with differing backgrounds and education to read
a paper written for a specific target audience and easily look up
background information to achieve a better understanding of the subject
material. I think links from an educational course's web page can also
benefit from links to additional levels of discussions and information
about individual words or phrases in the web page.

Attempts to provide descriptive text for graphics seem to fail far short
of what is necessary as the vocabulary with associated understanding and
usage of the words can vary widely given the education and exposure to a
sighted world for a reference.
For example. a person who has achieved a college education prior to
becoming visually impaired with have a set of memories that relate to
specific words that will not be present in a person who is blind from

I concept of providing descriptive text to explain images is great, but
the implementation of the goal is very difficult to achieve and needs
discussion related to simple physical object ranging to very complex
abstract concepts represented by images
either in pure science or the ark world.

Claude Sweet
Educational Technologist
Received on Tuesday, 16 November 1999 13:05:13 UTC

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