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Re: Text links 2.4.4 with PDF's

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 13:49:19 -0500
To: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFFDF66405.0BD5F61A-ON8625760B.0063C643-8625760B.006764F2@us.ibm.com>
Richard wrote:

":...I only see a small portion of the screen at any one time and do not 
get a staus bar at the bottom (my whole screen is focused on a small 


" I thus have no way of knowing that the link is to anything other than a 
HTML file."

False.  Most all screen magnifiers and screen readers have a way, hot key, 
to jump and read the status line.  The status line is a known part of the 
user interface and its contents can be accessed.  Yes there are problems 
with so called moving content in the status line, but that is a different 

So just as a sighted user can "move his eyes" and read the status line 
without moving the PC cursor, so can the AT user moves his reading cursor 
(a.k.a. point of regard) and read information without moving the PC cursor 
and move or jump back to the reading point where he last was.  Sure the 
sighted user may be able to "move his eyes quicker" but that is not the 
point either. The users using an AT is not anymore disadvantaged.

"Now supposing I . . . have learning difficulties, or am just too 
impatient to check the bottom of the browser every time I select a link - 
well perhaps I am stretching the point here.  I am sure others can think 
of more, better examples."

No I can't think of any better examples, except for mobile, which you 
discuss next.

". . . if you are using a PDA or mobile phone does the destination file 
name appear on the screen? I think not (at least not on my daughters 
mobile). So here you can claim that everyone is disadvantaged equally" 

Yep. I agree you are making a point for usability for all users.

"But in this case you would need to claim in your compliance certificate 
that the site was only to be used on mobile phone technology."

Nope, because all the information is available equally to everyone, maybe 
not as usable as you would like, but accessible.  AND, there is plenty of 
argument for the opposite, to eliminate the file type or format - many 
users do not know the difference between HTML, PDF and Word - they just 
want to get the information.  They select the link and the new information 
is there to get.  Why should the author go through extra effort to confuse 
some users?  I personally agree with explaining the formats when given a 
set of choices, but often it really doesn't make any difference if it is 
PDF, Word, or HTML as long as it complies with accessibility guidelines, 
my AT supports it, and I have the plug-in installed, yada yada yada..
Phill Jenkins, 
Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 18:49:59 UTC

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