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Re: Screen Reader Programs

From: Karen Lewellen <klewellen@shellworld.net>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 20:04:09 -0500 (EST)
To: Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu>
cc: Liz Hunter <lduncan@siu.edu>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.64.1112091901030.98440@server1.shellworld.net>
Good evening,
While I agree with Wayne in spirit sort of, i disagree in theory for a few 
1, those experiencing print disabilities like dyslexia use screen readers 
as well, a considerable majority over either group, but since the human 
brain processes information  from listening faster than from reading, 
still enough to give screen readers some value outside of one population.
Second,  a screen reader is a fairly sophisticated program, it does 
perform more than mainly  a simple function, or some of them do..Yes,  it 
reads, sometimes without the slightest interest in understanding what it 
reads.  How informatively it reads differ from 
person using it, platform and operating system, browser or other program 
it is reading / interacting with, 
and what it is reading.  If your site has buttons that generate the text 
"button input not implemented because they are script ones,  I assured he 
screen reader is working just fine, but your site may not be. to 
suggest it has a bug   as the   only reason someone may 
have an issue with your site is too simplistic.  So is that a free / easy 
one, without understanding its function tells you anything.
third, if you engage  in sloppy site building rules, say script buttons 
that require a physical mouse click, that is not the bug of any screen 
reader, nor perhaps  any voice browser.
Lastly, the more use evaluation tools, which I hope focus on access toe 
everyone, the more likely  individuals regardless of the 8 zillion things 
that make the user experience unique can benefit.
This is in my view why test tools would be a very good investment for 
this body.  Asking people to understand a screen reader  and who 
uses it, results in the kind of 
misinformation Wayne presents here, in my view.  giving everyone a tool or 
several tools that let them know what to build and how their site is doing 
in a simple practical way  keeps the individual in user, the personal in 
computing, and the visionary in site construction.
Just my two cents,

On Fri, 9 Dec 2011, Wayne Dick wrote:

> Dear James,
> I think testing with a screen reader is not very useful.  The
> suggestion of using a free and easy to use reader is best, because it
> does not involve a lot of learning time.
> Your time is better spent learning an evaluation tool, especially the
> manual evaluation parts.  Screen readers will let you know if some
> people who are blind can use your site.  They will give you almost no
> information about how well your site will support the needs of people
> with low vision, the majority of people with visual impairments.
> So spend your time studying the WCAG Guidlines and the "how to meet"
> descriptions.  Learn your WAI ARIA. Learn a good evaluation tool and
> how to do manual evaluation effectively.
> Remember, when you meet WCAG and WAI ARIA, and a screen reader cannot
> read your site, your page is isn't the problem... the screen reader
> just has a bug.
> Wayne Dick
Received on Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:04:32 UTC

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