Thread Subject: Re: Documentation Subcommittee Notes 10/27
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From: Lybarger, Barbara (MOD)
Date: Mon, Oct 30 2006 1:10 PM
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See corrected text below. Sorry for the typos.
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Lybarger, Barbara (MOD)
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 2:12 PM
To: TEITAC documentation and technical support subcommittee
Subject: Re: [teitac-documentation] Documentation Subcommittee Notes 10/27
I would like to clarify my concern about include keyboard shortcuts in system documentation, be it end user or technical manuals. Key Board Shortcuts are the alternative to Mouse commands. For example instead of clicking "File" on the menu bar to access a variety of basic functions, such as Open, New, Save. or Print, an AT user who can't use a mouse would enter ALT+F on the keyboard to open the file menu then type "o", "n", "s" or "p", respectively to activate the commands mentioned above. When describing the activation of system and application functions in manuals and other documentation , our AT users have consistently requested that the Keyboard Shortcuts be specified as well as the mouse command instruction, preferably in the same location. A short example of end user documentation from one of our internal training manuals illustrates what I have in mind:
1. Issue Section
Use this section to categorize the issues raised by the caller and to assign the issues to an advocate.
Â· The first three fields (Issue Number, Call Number And Date Received) will be filled in by the system when you press TAB to enter this subform.
Â· Tab to the Issue Type field and select from the list provided the major category that best describes one of the issues raised by the individual (F4 or ALT, Down Arrow).
Â· Tab to the Issue Description field and open the list using the ? (F4 or ALT+Down Arrow) at the right of the box. Type the first letter or two of the entry you made in Issue Type. Then select from the items in that section the item that best describes the issue raised. Then press enter.
Â· Tab to the Issue Status field. This field automatically says the issue you are entering is closed, because most issues are resolved during the first call. If the issue you are recording requires additional work, open the list using the ? (F4 or ALT, Down Arrow) at the right of the box and select an appropriate entry from the list provided.
Â· Tab to the Advocate field, and begin to type the initials of the advocate who will be working on the issue. In the case of issues resolved in the initial call, enter the initials of the person who did the intake.
Â· Tab to the Date Closed Field. This field automatically displays the current date. If the issue is being assigned, please delete the date. If the issue is being entered a day or two after the intake was actually done, please correct the date manually.
The remaining fields identify the services provided to address the issue.
Â· Information and Referral automatically displays as âYâ for Yes. Please Tab to the next field. It automatically says âInformation Providedâ as the outcome of this service. If this is not an appropriate selection, enter an appropriate outcome for this service from the pull down list (F4 or ALT, Down Arrow).
Â· Counseling and Brief Service automatically displays as âNâ for No. If either a call is made on the individualâs behalf to an outside agency or more than an hour is spent on the issue, change the âNâ to âYâ for Yes and complete the outcome field to the right (F4 or ALT, Down Arrow).
Â· Save the Issue by selecting the Save button (ALT+S). ...
To enter additional issues, select the ?* button (Control + the Plus Sign) at the bottom right corner of the Issue Section and repeat the steps for this section.
The idea is basically about universal design concepts applied to descriptive and instructional material. By combining the Keyboard Shortcuts with the mouse equivalent, all end users are referencing the same part of the same set of instructions, and can work together to figure out a system. The alternatives are either separate materials for AT users or no materials for AT users. Separate materials don't work well because it effectively denies AT users the benefit of the natural support systems other operating the same system have, i.e. each other. This is so because basic frames of reference, such as page numbers are often not the same. No materials is probably the worst alternative, because the AT user has no way of figuring out the systems, short of countless hours with a tutor who has to learn the system and develop the necessary translation. What I propose may not be the penultimate solution for all, but it would increase access substantially for the vast majority of AT users who can't use a mouse.
I hope this is helpful to the discussion,
Barbara E. Lybarger, General Counsel
Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, #1305
Boston, MA 02108
 727-0965 FAX
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