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Re: plain/simple/easy language variant subtag

From: Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2015 22:56:38 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+20umFV7sYfDOC8zed11VV_Znprb1XK-8ZgFEMUBYKk6cBcPw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
"...seems more than a little myopic."

Or, to put a friendlier spin on the conversation, perhaps I should say that
it just seems overly optimistic.

By the way, hello Chaals! Good to hear from you.

Paul Bohman, PhD
Director of Training, Deque Systems, Inc
703-225-0380, ext.121

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 9:57 PM, Paul Bohman <paul.bohman@deque.com> wrote:

> In response to this:
> For other people, you have to start by giving them life experience. Good
>>> luck with that.
>> Parents and teachers do it all the time. What's the problem?
> My response: Ok, if you've got a semester (or 18 years, or some other
> appropriate time frame) to work with, and the world as your classroom,
> that's great. I assumed we were talking about a web page, in which case,
> time and space are limited, as are your ability to discern the character
> and needs of the audience.
> Also, the reason I used a three-year old in my example was to push the
> point on the ability to comprehend. I've worked with adults who will never
> exceed the capacity of a three-year old (or 8 or some other age, depending
> on the individual) for comprehension of complex ideas. Dyslexia and
> dyscalculia pale in comparison to the challenge of designing content for
> someone like that. And yet, I've seen websites designed precisely for
> adults with the maximum cognitive capacity of children. The web sites I'm
> thinking of use pictures, videos, audio, and games, and essentially no text
> or only very limited text. One such web site was for job training. The web
> site showed examples of people doing various jobs, and asked users to
> respond to questions like "which job looks more interesting to you?" The
> navigation usually consisted of a choice between only two items, which were
> usually pictures, and the pathway through the site was essentially
> sequential, with no real menu. The site was radically different than nearly
> every other web site, and would be inappropriate, or at least not very
> useful, to most audiences.
> So, can you design web sites for people with limited comprehension?
> Absolutely. But none of the target users of those web sites were going to
> understand the totality of "change management theory" in large
> organizations. Try as you might, they won't be able to run a large
> organization based on what you teach them, no matter how well or how simply
> you explain it.
> And it really does come down to the complexity of the information, at
> least with the audiences I'm talking about. These adults have had life
> experiences, but they didn't comprehend those life experiences as fully as
> someone with average intelligence would have -- because of the complexity
> of those life experiences -- so they are on par with the child of 3 or 8 or
> whatever age is comparable for that individual. The root of their
> difficulty or inability to comprehend is in the complexity of the
> information, and, by extension, their inability to connect disparate pieces
> of information, or to recognize patterns, or to critically analyze and draw
> conclusions. They might also have issues forming long term memories, or may
> have other limitations.
> That said, there are specific conditions of the brain -- defects,
> injuries, diseases, etc. -- that target very specific parts of perception
> or cognition, in which case they don't have a generalized inability to
> process complexities, but rather a very specific deficiency. In some of
> those cases, simple language may help. In other cases -- like aphasia --
> language itself may be the problem, and you're going to have to come up
> with another way to convey information that doesn't use language at all.
> There are so many variations of human cognitive deficiency that your
> concluding question of "What's the problem?" -- aside from being casually
> dismissive -- seems more than a little myopic.
> Paul Bohman, PhD
> Director of Training, Deque Systems, Inc
> 703-225-0380, ext.121
> https://DequeUniversity.com
Received on Thursday, 17 September 2015 02:57:31 UTC

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