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Chat systems and accessibility

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 12:26:42 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0103161221060.4345-100000@tux.w3.org>
More and more people are adding chat systems to their web services. Some
products, such as collaborative online learning systems, have included this
for a long time. I am really wondering what experience people have had with
these systems in regard to accessibility.

At W3C we use IRC a lot. Its virtues are that there are a lot of clients for
all platforms I have tried, and it is simple technology. It has extensions
that allow things like file sharing, which could be used for multimedia, or
including graphics as part of the conversation.

Its major drawback, as I understand, is that it can be very difficult to
interact with rapidly-moving text. To a certain extent this might be solved
by the facility for multiple "chat-rooms" which are self-selecting in terms
of audience.

This topic really includes shared whiteboards and similar technology. I know
that there are also systems used that are inherently mulltimedia based -
including audio and video channels.

I am interested in any and all feedback at this stage.



Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 16 March 2001 12:26:42 UTC

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