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RE: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 17:02:10 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Ben Morris" <bmorris@activematter.com>, "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>, "'WAI'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 12:03 PM 9/26/00 -0400, you wrote:
 > It would seem to me that the phrase 'Avoid using images to represent text'
 > does not equate to making such images prohibited.

Later in the guidelines it says "avoid causing the screen to flicker" 
[priority 1] to avoid seizures from photosensitive epilepsy.  This suggests 
that  "avoid X"  really does mean "don't to X".

 > I think that the spirit of these guidelines is to make sites accessible to,
 > but not necessarily designed strictly for, those with disabilities.

I agree, but I don't think that using real text instead of a button is 
designing strictly for people with disabilities, certainly in those cases 
where the appearance is essentially the same.

 > All of
 > these sites (I believe) include plain text alternatives to those graphical
 > links at the bottom of the page.  I think that most users expect text links
 > at the bottom of the page.

Not all sites have the links at the bottom. For example, 
http://www.activematter.com doesn't have them. I'm not criticizing that 
site... in fact I think it's a good, clear layout.  It's just like, as in 
many sites, it missed the chance to use real text  instead of images.  Real 
text would have made little visual difference... In fact, it would have 
enhanced the look...the text would have been more crisp I think.  Text 
links at the bottom would have taken away from the visual appeal of the 
page, another reason to simply use text in the menu bar.

  And even if sites did use links, they are not as good as the buttons for 
people who can see buttons, at least for sites with good visual 
design.  Well designed graphics organize the links in a way that a mere 
unformatted rows of text links do not. For example, I think the layout of 
activematter.com, including it's use of the folder tab metaphor is a good 
example of how visual layout can help usability.  I'd like to see the 
benefits of that sort of good visual design available to as many people as 
possible, including people with low vision.

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 17:00:24 UTC

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