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RE: User Agent Types - palmtops

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 13:59:28 -0600
Message-Id: <199901041958.NAA28509@staff1.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: "Denis Anson" <danson@miseri.edu>, "WAI UA group" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
In response to Denis Anson,
I think we need to look at both what elelments the user agent is rendering
and the media resources the user agent is using to render the information.
The media types a developer is using should support direct accessibility
features.  I think to require a user agent developer to add additional
rendering media types (whether a palmtop or desktop application) and the
associated features for accessibility is going to make it difficult for
developers to seriously consider fully implementing the guidelines and/or
they may take years to do so.  I think the media capabilites will increase
over time and more of the user agent types will be part of one product and
therefore we will see an natural improvement in overall accessibility.  But
that is not the case now and so we want to make guidelines that can be used
now and in the future.  By focusing on user agent types, third party
assistive technoogy can also participate by using W3C technologies to make
very accessible user agents to the types of disabilities their product serves.

I think we can encourage and support developers to add additional user
agent media types and to do it in an accessible way.  I think it was clear
at the face-to-face meeting that if we try to make a user agent be all
things to all disabilities, that we will have a difficult time typing to
getting developers to comply and potentially loose credibility of the
guidelines with developers.

Jon


At 02:37 PM 1/4/99 -0500, Denis Anson wrote:
>Jon,
>
>I think, though, that we still need to focus on the type of content that is
>being rendered, not on the characteristics of the agent that is doing the
>rendering.  If you decide to develop a UA for the Palm Pilot, for example
>(and there is one), you decide that some types of content are not going to
>be rendered.  And, you decide that that is acceptable.  But you also make
>decisions about how you are going to render those things that you will
>render.  The guidelines should say, in effect, if you render this type of
>content in these ways, or with these functionalities, then you include the
>widest possible number of  users, and that is the goal.
>
>Denis Anson, MS, OTR
>Assistant Professor
>College Misericordia
>301 Lake Street
>Dallas, PA 18612
>
>Member since 1989 of:
>RESNA
>The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@staff.uiuc.edu]
>Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 2:25 PM
>To: Denis Anson; WAI UA group; Charles McCathieNevile
>Subject: RE: User Agent Types - palmtops
>
>In response to Denis Anson:
>In my original message on this topic I do have two categories.  One for
>rendering element text as speech and another for rendering multi-media
>content.  I agree we need different requirements for multi-media vs. speech
>rendering for text.
>
>Please review my orginal posting on user agent types:
>
>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/1998OctDec/0353.html
>
>Jon
>
>
>At 01:57 PM 1/4/99 -0500, Denis Anson wrote:
>>Jon,
>>
>>Much as I hate to disagree, I think I have to there a bit.  Rendering text
>>as speech is not the same thing as rendering audio.  Text to speech is one
>>way of rendering text content so that a person with a visual deficit can
>>have access to it.  But the media being rendered is text, not sound.  The
>>output is sound.
>>
>>Auditory rendering would include MIDI, AU, and WAV files, which might be
>>language, or might be music.  Rendering sound on a web page would be
>>rendering those things that the author of the page included as sound, not
>>those things the user decided to turn to sound.
>>
>>This is an important distinction, I think.  When rendering text content, it
>>is vital to be able to move from chunk to chunk of text, to move through
>the
>>document.  This need is independent of the output as visual stimulus,
>>tactile stimulus, or auditory stimulus.  However, the same need is not
>>present in auditory rendering.  While you may want to be able to "fast
>>forward" through an audio track, that is not necessarily an accessibility
>>issue.  Able-bodied folks don't have that functionality either.  It is
>>entirely conceivable that a user agent may render text via text to speech,
>>but not have the ability to render sound content at all!
>>
>>Denis Anson, MS, OTR
>>Assistant Professor
>>College Misericordia
>>301 Lake Street
>>Dallas, PA 18612
>>
>>Member since 1989 of:
>>RESNA
>>The International Association of Assistive Technology Professionals
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On Behalf
>>Of Jon Gunderson
>>Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 1:13 PM
>>To: WAI UA group; Charles McCathieNevile
>>Subject: RE: User Agent Types - palmtops
>>
>>In response to charles.
>>In my interpretation of the user agent types, if a palmtop has
>>text-to-speech capabilites and uses text-to-speech to render the a WWW
>>document then to be compatible with the guidelines it must implement the
>>user agent type techniques associated with auditory rendering.  Whether it
>>is done by the developer or through assistive technology, the guidelines
>>would not care.  The guidelines only care about the funcational user
>>interface as the result for that user agent media type.
>>
>>I am not sure how many palmtop developers would include text-to-speech for
>>just disability access. But since there are many other reasons to include
>>text-to-speech capabilities, let us have guidelines for that media type to
>>help them make it accessible to people with disabilities that can beenfit
>>from that media type.  It is the media type that is important, not whether
>>it is a plamtop or desktop; naive or through assistive technology that is
>>important for our guidelines.  Although we may want to have a media type
>>that is related to the LCD displays found on palmtop devices.
>>
>>I do agree that palmtops are potentially very useful to persons with
>>disabilities for many types of tasks, but we need to focus on WWW access.
>>There are other groups that are working on some of the other issues you
>>mention.  If you or others are interested, I would suggest contacting the
>>trace center.  I beleive they are doing a lot of work on access that
>>includes palmtop technologies (www.trace.wisc.edu).  We may want to
>>consider having a Kiosk media type that could reference the use of palmtop
>>technology for Kiosks based on WWW technology.  But I think this should not
>>be a primary task at this time.
>>
>>Jon
>>
>>
>>At 02:29 PM 1/2/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>>>I am not sure if this is the case, and I doubt that it will continue to be
>>>the case. Palmtops are capable of interfacing with computer devices, and
>>>could be used for example to provide assistive access to kiosks, ATMs and
>>>other public information devices. They are also, in essence, little
>>>computers which can run software. Since they could be used as a personal
>>>assistive device, a User agent designed for a palmtop should where
>>>possible provide an interface. More to the point, if we say now that this
>>>is not necessary, and then decide in a year or two that it would have been
>>>a good idea, we are doing a disservice to developers. If we think that it
>>>is not very useful now, but we expect it to be necessary in two years, we
>>>should flag that by requiring it 'where possible'. That provides a
>>>common-sense test. It also notifies designers now that their products may
>>>have to be extended to provide a particular functionality in the future -
>>>this can make life a lot easier than having to retrofit accessibility into
>>>a product afterwards.
>>>
>>>Charles McCathieNevile
>>>
>>>On Fri, 1 Jan 1999, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>>>
>>>  Technologies like palm tops I do not think have any assistive
>>technologies,
>>>  so it maybe impossible for it to be compatible with assistive
>technology.
>>>  If it wants to provide access to people with visual impiarments it would
>>>  need to directly implement the user agent techniques that appply to
>>Braille
>>>  ad Auditory rendering.
>>>
>>>
>>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
>>Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
>>Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
>>University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
>>1207 S. Oak Street
>>Champaign, IL 61820
>>
>>Voice: 217-244-5870
>>Fax: 217-333-0248
>>E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
>>WWW:    http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
>>        http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
>>
>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
>Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
>Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
>University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
>1207 S. Oak Street
>Champaign, IL 61820
>
>Voice: 217-244-5870
>Fax: 217-333-0248
>E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
>WWW:    http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
>        http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
> 
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
Received on Monday, 4 January 1999 14:58:47 UTC

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