WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Research proposal: Accessibility support for PDF, Flash, etc.


From: Wayne Dick
Date: Feb 25, 2010 11:03PM

Sometimes WebAIM gets too fancy. Forms and other
active features are important issues, but the
biggest issue for people with print disabilities
is reading.
I personally have never had the stamina to finish
one book in PDF. I have tried with with every
current assistive technology, major and obscure.
Actually, the only books I have finished in
for-profit proprietary formats have been books I
have successfully converted to HTML. That
conversion is never seamless.
I read about 20 books a year in with the
non-profit data formats HTML and Daisy. These
include professional titles from Safari Books
Online, recreation from Bookshare and the online
versions of journals like the Journal of Visual
Impairment and Blindness.
I could not read professionally if, as it appears
to be the trend, for-profit data formats take over
the digital library market without accessibility
support. For people with print disabilities,
reading is the line of professional survival.
The companies that develop proprietary formats for
profit really need to contribute significant
funding to create effective assistive technologies
to cover all people with print disabilities.
Nothing has the accessibility support for everyone
like W3C technologies right now. This
Accessibility support project is a great place to
I have tried hard to use PDF, Flash and many other
non-W3C formats for serious reading. I can't do it.

Wayne Dick PhD., Professor
Department of Computer Engineering and Computer
California State University, Long Beach