Thread Subject: Re: Accessibility ofSecond Life and related applications
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From: Andi Snow-Weaver
Date: Wed, Aug 01 2007 8:30 AM
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We know it's not accessible at all to blind users and there are
accessibility issues for other types of disabilities too.
The purpose of suggesting that subcommittee members look at it prior to the
presentation on August 8th is so that you have an idea of what Second Life
is. Since we're not doing a live demo, it will make the presentation and
discussion more meaningful and substantive if people know what it is that
Sent by: "TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee"
teitac-websoftwar < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >, "TEITAC General Interface
itac.org Accessibility Subcommittee"
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Please respond to sibility ofSecond Life and
TEITAC related applications
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Folks from Florida Blind Services looked at the site Second life:
In a nutshell, Second Life locks out persons who are blind.
2 users, JAWS, high level of knowledge, unable to get in the door
1 user, low vision technology provided by operating system, unable to
get in the door
This system is not meeting even minimum standards.
The task was simple please login in to Second Life, so we can take a
look at the community.
For speech users there are no navigation tools at all. (no list menus,
no header levels) Moreover, the links, and graphics - when labeled -
are problematic. There was the typical "click here" and "read more",
but there were also links that had no meaning whatsoever. Graphics
often that were labeled said stuff like "spacer gif" or had no meaning
whatsoever. But these two highly technical speech users were not going
to let this stop them. There were four links that said something to the
effect "join secondlife for free". The links did not all go to the join
page. One user got stuck on a page. (target blank used to open windows
some of the time, some of the time it wasn't.) Basically, one very
high end speech user was not able to get to join. - gave up at this
point. Second, user was provided sighted assistance to get to the
correct login page. The form itself had no "label for" or text for
speech to read most of the time. The user, being a highly motivated and
high end speech users got in and out of edit mode. The drop down list
(reads as combo box) only allowed user to select a "fictions last name".
After playing for a while user figured out that the name was not
supposed to be "real". When the person selected a fact last name, the
combination of the fictitious last name and the real name was already
taken. A window opened up, focus went to that window. The user had not
realized a new window opened. User required sighted assistance to
explain what happened and to select a name not taken and to continue
login in processes. The person moved forward slowly, until, low and
behold there was a graphic with code on it used for verification. There
was a nice "Click Here" if you can't read the graphic link. When you
clicked here, a new graphic displayed.
None of our staff were able to get in the door.
I actually watched the users attempt the log in process. I ended up
logging in to see what the community was about. I am very shocked that
any government entity would even consider being part of this community.
The clear 508 violations, the disenfranchising of persons who are can't
afford broadband or latest technology, are just the tip of the ice berg.
THIS IS AN ADULT COMMUNITY. 18 and over only. I know on our site we
have students that often use it, and I know a few of the government
entities that are listed as using it and often used by teachers for
research. So will government entities now have one site for adults and
one site for "teens"? Do government sites what to share communities
that are very close to being pornographic (avatars for one of the
woman's pages - note I thought the world was going to be for women...
Who can we write about our concerns as they relate to equal access?
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of David
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 11:44 AM
To: TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee; TEITAC
Subject: Re: [teitac-websoftware]
[teitac-general][teitac-video]Accessibility ofSecond Life and related
These environments are not accessible and should not be used by any
federal agency or others bound by 508.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walser, Kate" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
To: "TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee"
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >;
"TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee"
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 11:08 AM
ofSecond Life and related applications
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Institutes of
Health, National Library of Medicine, Library of Congress, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and about 10 others government agencies
now use Second Life (?http://www.lindenlabs.com
for various functions including training simulations and public
outreach. Second Life is a sort of immersive environment in which you
move your avatar around and communicate with other avatars. You can buy
and sell services and goods, attend presentations, sit in forums, etc.
A group - Real Life Government in Second Life - has even sprung up to
enable these agencies to discuss and share ideas about using Second
Life. Use of Second Life and other immersive experiences may expand in
coming years for education and training, collaboration, and information
retrieval. The Real Life Government in Second Life group has raised
questions about Section 508 from what I understand.
In talking with some folks across the subcommittees, it doesn't sound
like any of us have discussed the accessibility of these immersive
environments or networked virtual environments. (There are others
besides Second Life) Not an easy beast to tackle, let alone in time for
June/July deadlines, but an area we should at least discuss and explore.
I can set up a discussion with some of our SRA folks who work with the
Real Life Government in Second Life group (and potentially with some of
that group's members) but have hesitated as any demonstrations of the
Second Life environment would not be accessible.
Is there interest in exploring this through at least a discussion with
folks who have been working with the agencies and have insight into how
they're using Second Life? And if so, please think about which
subcommittee we should have take the ball on this one - general, video,
Director, Usability Center of Excellence
SRA International, Inc.
4300 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
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