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Re: Switches and Universal Access

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 17:42:09 +0000
Cc: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: philip steven lanier <planier@u.washington.edu>
Message-Id: <AC3AC94A-28B0-11D7-AF48-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>

Philip & Jukka,

Our users* have severe learning difficulties. The video: 'Working 
Together: Computers and People with Learning Disabilities'
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Video/wt_learn.html assumes a somewhat 
greater ability. This applies to the other resources I viewed on the 
Washington University site.

To imagine the problems facing switch users consider typing an email, 
that's 26 clicks for every letter or say 100 per word, (predictive 
software could possibly help a little, though users might have problems 
selecting words that were unfamiliar ) now imagine you also have a 
physical  and or cognitive impairment.

The BBC radio site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ has 160 links, last 
time I counted, think on this. try it out using a tab switch.
Now visit http://www.peepo.com/alfy/radio/b.html type a letter, or tab 
through the alphabet. potentially 260 radio stations within 46 clicks.  
Can someone else improve on this?

The web currently offers very little for this community, and very few 
every get paid employment.
We are still a very long way from enabling people with severe learning 
difficulties using (adaptive) technology.



*many of our users respond to concrete symbols, ie TV, microwave...most 
recognise photographs of people they know(of) telling the time is a 
significant achievement, as would 'simple' addition be, some follow 
soaps, and many have special interests about which they know much. We 
do have a few users who can read plain simple English in a ~20pt font, 
and we intend to add the option of a text label to links at 
http://www.peepo.com, this only allows 5 or 6 letters so has its own 
problems. If you mouse over there is a tooltip, and the font size can 
be set much larger.

A switch site has been asked for, and we are considering how best to 
develop this......
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 12:40:41 UTC

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