RE: placing Accessibility options

 Yet the Help menu item seldom has sub-items that change how a
program functions so it isn't too intuitive to have Accessibility settings
there. Also not every applet has Help or Preferences options so naming the
option seems too specific, though those aren't poor places for these
settings. Having Accessibility in the first option is a way to ensure that
the uninitiated (the point J Gunderson notes below) can easily come upon the
settings, & easily toggle them On/Off. 

This is a difficult issue, because so many things affect accessibility.
This is one of the reasons we created the Accessibility Wizard for Windows
98.  That wizard asks the users a series of questions and sets options
across the system, including display resolution, mouse pointers, and
accessibility-specific options.

Just taking the browser for example, you have colors and font type settings
- should those be in the Accessibility dialog or in a more general place?
After all, everyone uses those and if they are in a Accessibility dialog,
mainstream users might not find them.  Same is true of the font size.

Our philosophy is this - place accessibility-specific options in a dialog
clearly labeled "Accessibility" and gotten though from the first page of the
Options dialog.

As far as the guidelines go, the recommendation should be something like
"Make accessibility-specific features and options available in a clearly
marked and easily accessible section of the program.  Preferably alongside
general and often used settings."

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"

Received on Thursday, 20 August 1998 15:55:52 UTC