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Re: Accessibility Observations


From: Terry Brainerd Chadwick
Date: Feb 26, 2002 12:30PM

Raleigh wrote,

>>>They prefer a smooth ride to jumping around, so I'm starting to
disagree with the "You can't use a text-only version".>>>

Most of the people with disabilities that I have worked with-- totally
blind, visually impaired, mobility impaired--have told me that they don't
use the text-only pages when they are provided. These are the reasons they
have given:

1. From their experiences the pages are rarely equivalent and often not
2. They believe they should be able to read the same original/main page as
anyone else.
3. They feel like second class citizens in having to use a separate page.

I have also had a couple of people tell me that they prefer properly-done
frames because they can easily jump back and forth between the content and
the navigation.

Personally, as a sighted person who wants to get to my information fast, I
use the text-only pages, especially if they are comprehensive site maps.
However, comprehensive navigation panels and site maps have accessibility
issues in that there may be hundreds of links on a singe page, which may
take longer to navigate than a half-way accessible, JavaScripted main page.

I think that it is very difficult to make an entire website that is going
to be fully accessible for everyone at every time: the needs of a person
with cognitive and learning disabilities is different than the needs of
someone who requires high magnification of a web page which is different
than the needs of someone to cannot see the web page at all and must
navigate with a braille or screen reader.

Linearization is certainly important, as is alternative "text"--transcripts
of audio, audio versions of text, graphics with equivalent information in a
text format, and so on. Not all sites, particularly small private one, can
afford to do everything, but we can all do our best. It amazes that there
are people calling themselves web designers/developers who don't use the
alt attribute, despite the fact that it has been part of standard HTML for

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Terry Brainerd Chadwick, InfoQuest! Information Services
mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> 1-503-228-4023 http://www.tbchad.com
Accessibility isn't just the law; it's good business.
Optimizing Websites for Accessibility, Content, Search, & Usability

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