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RE: Automatic Detection of Screen Readers and Other Assistive Technology

From: Jon Hanna <jon@spin.ie>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 10:37:10 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> On Wednesday, June 11, 2003, at 12:02 PM, Aaron Smith wrote:
> > Andrew is correct. Win32 programmers would use the
> > SystemParametersInfo API (with the SPI_GETSCREENREADER flag) to
> > determine whether an application has set said flag or not. This is a
> > nice generic way to see if any screen reader is running. If you want
> > to determine whether a specific screen reader is running or not, you
> > would simply need to find out if that app's window is available.
> So how do I use this on my Web site in order to deliver specific content
> to screenreader users only?

There is a way to persuade IE running javascript to run an ActiveX control
without checking security settings, however this is obviously a hole and may
have been patched since I played with it (on my own systems only before you
ask :)

For that matter there is arguably a security risk in proposed systems like
CC/PP. In identifying yourself as a screen-reader user you are identifying
yourself as a member of a group who are sometimes actively discriminated
against as well as discriminated against due to mere neglect of their needs.
For example CC/PP would enable a company to prevent blind people from
getting past the first stage of a job application process while giving the
company a plausible claim that they didn't know the applicant was blind.
Received on Thursday, 12 June 2003 05:36:27 UTC

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