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Automated Accessibility Options

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 22:03:49 +0000 (GMT)
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20030112213205.M5327-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

Any browser developers around on this list?

I've revived what used to be the Accessibility Proxy, and am turning
it into an output filter.  This will enable any web server administrator
to use it to make content more accessible.  Recommended usage is to
give users the choice of "default" and "accessible" versions - the
former served as-is, the latter served through the accessibility filter.

Now to be truly useful, mod_accessibility offers several different
views on a page.  These include not only cleaned-up markup (in the
manner of the proxy, or Betsie), but also on-the-fly outlines,
selected subsections, link lists, and other views.

This will work best if browsers are able to present the different
options to users in an accessible manner.  For example, a browser
could offer a hotkey that brings up a menu of options.  So when the
text-only user encounters a long, rambling page, he might switch to
the outline and select interesting subsections from there.

Within limitations, I can make this work with existing browsers.
But the ideal solution would be to introduce a new HTTP header
that mod_accessibility will use to select a view:

X-accessibility-view: none	(don't touch the content)
X-accessibility-view: linear
X-accessibility-view: outline
X-accessibility-view: textonly
X-accessibility-view: betsie


Likewise, the server can set a header to indicate the availability
of accessibility options, activating the browser options for the site.

Can any browser developers (or anyone else interested) let me know
if you'd be interested in implementing a protocol like this?
Or if there's any existing similar work to consider?

Nick Kew

Available for contract work - Programming, Unix, Networking, Markup, etc.
Received on Sunday, 12 January 2003 17:04:42 UTC

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