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Re: Switches and Universal Access

From: philip steven lanier <planier@u.washington.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 00:53:54 -0800 (PST)
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.A41.4.44.0301150040140.50226-100000@dante42.u.washington.edu>

Want a demo of what switches are and how they work?  The University of
Washington's DO-IT (Stands for 'Disabilities, Opportunities,
Internetworking, and Technology) has a really great series of streaming
videos that demonstrate differnet kinds of adaptive technologies.  They
are available for free online at:


The program is partly to help educate students with disabilities,
educators, and others about disabilities and education, so many of the
videos talk about success in college.  However, the series of videos
titled "Working together: ..." are mostly about disabilities and
technology.  They have interviews and demonstrations with students at the
UW (several of whom I know well), and are not only really informative, but
also portray the population in a very positive light.

FYI, the video that has a brief demonstration & discussion of switches is
"Working Together: Computers and People with Mobility Impairments."  I
believe it comes up around the 8:30 mark.

Hope you find this helpful!

Philip Lanier,
University of Washington
Senior, Informatics

On Wed, 15 Jan 2003, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

> On Wed, 15 Jan 2003, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
> > Does anyone on the list regularly checks their pages for 'switch*'
> > accessibility?
> What's that?
> (Quoted from the bottom of the original message:)
> > *switch as it sounds means a physical switch, two work more easily, if
> > the user is able. One is used to scan, i.e. mimic the tab button, the
> > other to click, usually mimicking the enter button.
> I think I'm not the only one here who doesn't understand what that means.
> Making my best guess at present, I'd say that the question is about
> keyboard-only accessibility, just using special techniques to cause or
> simulate keyboard events. I guess those techniques are something that an
> author need not worry about; if the page can be used using tabbing and
> Enter key, it can also be used in an environment where hitting TAB or
> Enter means using some special device. For tabbing to work, the order of
> the links should be a natural one, and for Enter to work, links should be
> normal links, not some JavaScript or other simulations of links. In this
> case, I would say that the tabbing part is not perfect, since the order of
> the links on the screen does not correspond to their order in HTML source
> and hence in the tabbing order.
> > Our site http://www.peepo.com is fully switch accessible, however many
> > of the resources we link to, are not.
> Viewed on a graphic browser, it's just a collection of enigmatic images.
> Are the letters intentionally hidden until tabbed to or otherwise focused
> on?
> I'm sure that most of us, including the majority of people who cannot read
> normally, would benefit from some textual explanations attached to the
> images, if they are meant to be understood and even used as links.
> And a short verbal explanation of what the page is about, even if not
> understood by all visitors, would probably not hurt.
> --
> Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 03:54:02 UTC

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