ISSUE: ARIA Draft: definition of AT

ISSUE: ARIA Draft: definition of AT

http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria/#def_at

I have issues with two parts of this definition.

> Assistive technologies target narrowly defined populations of users  
> with specific disabilities.


I disagree. All of the Mac OS Universal Access features (as well as  
many of the assistive technology features in Windows) provide benefit  
to disabled and non-disabled users alike.

For example, the screen zoom feature (a screen magnifier) is targeted  
at users with vision impairments, but conference presenters use this  
all the time to show small text to the audience.

> Examples of assistive technologies that are important in the context  
> of this document include the following:
>
>  screen magnifiers, and other visual reading assistants, which are  
> used by people with visual, perceptual and physical print  
> disabilities to change text font, size, spacing, color,  
> synchronization with speech, etc. in order to improve the visual  
> readability of rendered text and images;
>  screen readers, which are used by people who are blind to read  
> textual information through synthesized speech or braille;
>  text-to-speech software, which is used by some people with  
> cognitive, language, and learning disabilities to convert text into  
> synthetic speech;
>  voice recognition software, which may be used by people who have  
> some physical disabilities;
>  alternative keyboards, which are used by people with certain  
> physical disabilities to simulate the keyboard (including alternate  
> keyboards that use head pointers, single switches, sip/puff and  
> other special input devices.);
>  alternative pointing devices, which are used by people with  
> certain physical disabilities to simulate mouse pointing and button  
> activations

All of the examples listed (screen magnifiers, screen readers, text-to- 
speech, voice recognition, and alternative pointers and keyboards) are  
all used by disabled and non-disabled users alike.

This definition of AT is narrow minded. I propose we rewrite it this  
way.

> Assistive technologies target users with specific disabilities, but  
> often provide universal design benefit to users without disabilities.


Also, leave the list, but don't explicitly tie each of the AT items  
with a particular disability.

> Examples of assistive technologies that are important in the context  
> of this document include the following:
>
>  screen magnifiers, and other visual reading assistants, which are  
> used to change text font, size, spacing, color, synchronization with  
> speech, etc. in order to improve the visual readability of rendered  
> text and images;
>  screen readers, which are used to read textual information through  
> synthesized speech or braille;
>  text-to-speech software, which is used to convert text into  
> synthetic speech;
>  voice recognition software, which is used to control the computer  
> by voice command;
>  alternative keyboards, which are used to simulate the keyboard  
> (including alternate keyboards that use head pointers, single  
> switches, sip/puff and other special input devices.);
>  alternative pointing devices, which are used to simulate mouse  
> pointing and button activations

Comments?

Received on Saturday, 28 June 2008 00:05:02 UTC