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Re: Hiding mailto: links


From: Keith Parks
Date: Feb 27, 2007 10:40AM

On Feb 27, 2007, at 7:00 AM, Jared Smith wrote:

> On 2/27/07, Emma Duke-Williams < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> Do you have some stats on this, Jared?
> Nope. Just my own observations that many people are now using
> web-based mail solutions (Exchange, GMail, Yahoo, etc.) rather than
> installed clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.).

In the same vain are people using computers in public locations, like
libraries and (I imagine) internet cafes and such. Or, dare I say it,
people *without* e-mail. I always try to keep in mind that if someone
is accessing one of our Web sites, the only thing I really know about
them is that they have Web access.

We have a number of contact form on our site, and I occasionally get
submissions from people who leave only their phone number as a
contact point. (Whether they are just worried about their e-mail
getting out or what, I don't know.)

But the mailto link brings up another thought in general, in terms of
how accessible e-mail programs are? Does JAWS or other screen-readers
run on top of Outlook or Eudora, or other e-mail programs? Is a
mailto link in a way like a link to Flash content, or a PDF?

> (m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other
> application be present on the client system to interpret page
> content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that
> complies with ยง1194.21(a) through (l).

Seems like if you create a mailto link, you need to know that *if* it
calls up an e-mail app, that the e-mail app will be accessible.

OK, a stretch maybe, but it seems like a strong argument in favor of
using an accessible contact form over e-mail links.

Keith Parks
Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Student Affairs Communications Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7444

(619) 594-1046


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