Re: A few questions

Some comments inline - CMN

On Fri, 9 Feb 2001, Jon Hanna wrote:

  1. I normally talk about usability and accessibility in the same
  breath. Can anyone think of times when one damages the other, i.e.
  when improving usability for one group comes at the expense of
  damaging it for another, esp. if to the point of making a site
  completely inaccessible to that group.
Even without looking at the rather lurry lines between the two, it is
possible to consider accessibility too narrowly and provide access to one
group at the expense of others. For example, people who are Deaf-Blind
often rely on a rendering of textual content to understand information.
Providing access for such people could be understood as simply converting
everything to text and making a "Text-only" version available. Or in a more
extreme case, only having a text-only version. In the first instance, people
who have some vision impairments may be left unable to make use of the
"original version", but have to use the other version. For people who have
vision impairments and disabilities which impact reading ability (some
examples might be the results of brain injuries, or of certain conditions in
combination), they are also excluded from the text-only version.

For usability, people have taken to putting a lot of links in a small area of
a page. This can cause problems for people who are using a relatively slow
access method - for example screen reader and keyboard control, or keyboard
control that is very strenuous (as can be the case following certain injuries
to the hands, among other causes). There are strategies that can overcome the
accessibility problem without having to reduce the basic usability aspect.

  2. We've been developing an XML-based content delivery product (I'm
  not going to plug it, if only for the fact that the site about it is
  under development and currently inaccessible to some groups). In the
  course of R&D we developed a Flash based version of the products
  output, where we send XML to Flash. From the point of view of
  accessibility this seems to offer a solution to many of the problems
  with Flash, since the same XML can also be transformed into HTML (the
  browser could be queried to find the best version to send). However
  we only developed this Flash version to show that we could and
  haven't really experimented with its implications.

  Has anyone found problems with XML -> Flash wrt. accessibility
  (assuming of course that we also do XML -> HTML when appropriate).
I would recommend the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines - - which discuss requirements for this kind of
  3. Is there any browser that currently uses the aural part of the
  CSS2 spec, esp. if available as a Win32 binary.
The only one I know of is emacspeak, but I ahven't followed voice browsers
very closely. There is also work on this area in the W3C Voice browser group


Charles McCN

Charles McCathieNevile  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)

Received on Sunday, 11 February 2001 23:59:27 UTC