RE: Accessible _By_

At 10:21 AM +0000 1/19/01, Anthony Quinn wrote:
>To my knowledge, there is no "tool" which can emulate the user experience
>and ground the problem in terms that people can understand and relate to but
>I could be wrong. Does anyone know of such a thing?

Here's a facetious answer:

Well, you could turn off your monitor to simulate being blind. :)

Actually, it's only half tongue-in-cheek.  In my online web
accessibility class (new session coming soon) through the HTML Writers
Guild, the first exercise is very similar to that -- I ask the students
to turn off as much as they can on their browser, and throw the mouse
out the window.  No images, no sounds, no javascript, no frames (if
they can do it, e.g. Opera), etc.

Does it give an experience similar to those of users with actual
disabilities?  Heck no, it's pretty inaccurate as a simulation.
But what it _does_ do is make them realize how dependent they are
on those things, and helps to effect a change _in how they think
about the web_.  If you can break out of the mindset that the web
is merely a visual medium, then you are more than halfway there
to an accessible design philosophy.

As a practical answer to your question, Anthony, it may be that a
better answer than emulating the user experience is instead to
simply employ people with disabilities at all levels of the design
process, as designers/programmers, part of the user testing
system, etc.

Kynn Bartlett <>

Received on Friday, 19 January 2001 11:55:50 UTC