WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Is email accessible?


From: Karlen Communications
Date: Apr 26, 2009 9:40AM


Plain Text is still a viable option and can sometimes be navigated through
faster or easier.

I had to look this up for someone else last week so your timing is perfect
although few people use these standards/guidelines.

I use a screen reader and for me the "frustration" of e-mail is having the
original message above any replies although again I know some people prefer

Speaking of this, does anyone know how I can switch the order of the
reply/forward content in the Mac OS mail system? I can't seem to find the
setting to have the original follow any reply text. I want my posts to have
my replies above the original post.

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 8:03 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: [WebAIM] Is email accessible?

We talk a lot in the web accessibility arena about the importance of
structure (e.g., HTML headings, list elements, etc.) in order to communicate
organization and facilitate navigation, which is especially helpful for
screen reader users. Since plain text email has none of this explicit
structure, and is sometimes downright unwieldy when it contains many layers
of quotes within quotes within quotes, I find myself wondering: Is this a
technology whose time has come? Should we all be moving to web-based forms
of communications? Or do the benefits of plain text email outweigh its

Thanks for any thoughts or insights.

Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, Accessible Technology
UW Technology Services
University of Washington