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Re: Accessibility Observations


From: Holly Marie
Date: Feb 28, 2002 7:16AM

From: "Peter Van Dijck"

> > How people use screen readers is an interesting question. In user
tests I
> > have found surprisingly little typical behaviour, even amongst
> > screen reader users.
> I would like to get this discussion back to behaviour of people, and
> from behaviour of browsers (however interesting!). What strategies
> people observed here by people using disabled technologies to deal
with the
> web? Practical examples would be really useful, thanks.

Cerebral palsy - motor coordination difficulties - literacy -
communication difficulties
understands spoken directions or commands and others speaking.

[1] Intellitools keyboard
[2] Audio prompts and cues, this person needs sound, voice, interactive
display of information
[3] Graphics are important, simple graphics are even more important
[4] While the keyboard has interchangeable templates for use, from
alphabet to QWERTY layout, to simple arrow keys , to yes no commands, or
enter quit, etc.... This user also does not have the ability to use a
mouse at all.
[5] Touch Window Screen overlay by www.edmark.com or Touch Monitor -
which makes drop downs and or dhtml style menus, near impossible for
access. Though scrollbars on browsers are workable. Just time consuming.
So pages on one window view might be more accessible, with a button
graphic link to advance to a next section or page.

This type of user makes great use of multimedia technology that also
fits the motor capabilities. This multimedia would include prompts and
cues, as well as spoken directions, information, and content. Multimedia
demos of how to showing or modeling activity, instructions, or
relationships of cause and effect would also be good on a delivery of
information for this user. So visual enhancements along with audial
enhancements of material are needed.

Here is just one user, and now by reading this, you can definitely see
the problems implementing some of the elements of design(function) and
usability might encounter.

Hearing impaired would need captions and text equivalents for all of
these methods, and so will blind, which may need even more heightened
descriptions on cause and effects and interaction or multimedia.

We could try and make the argument this user is not in a majority of
challenged users, but then you would be remiss at doing so. The
challenged population is not one group with same problems or
difficulties, and this is where it becomes very difficult to make any
sort of generalizations on what is needed to be done.

The list above is only some key items, I thought of, there are more for
this list I am sure. But it gives an idea of how some changes for one
group can greatly affect the usability and accessibility of another


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