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Re: RNIB "accessible" game


From: Holly Marie
Date: Jun 14, 2002 7:58AM

Good points David,
Though also to be honest... I have a few to add.

I do think that any site or anyone taking up any claim to be:
[1] accessible
[2] supporting current guidelines and practises
[3] promoting the need for many to increase their delivery of
information and content to wider audiences.

Will - unfortunately and fortunately be under a microscopic view. The
reality is it is going to happen, and the errors will be pointed out
sharply. We can see these as bad, good, or otherwise indifferent, or we
can also take these news flashes or pointed statements and also learn.
Including special groups like the NFB, RNIB, and even the WAI, for

We, probably ar not going to make every person or every special group
happy. However, we have a set of guidelines, suggestions, codes as a
basis to follow. The special groups do not want the wider delivering
audience to fail to comply to these items, so they created some
checklists, checkpoints, validators and tools to check these items.

I do believe, as a responsibly hosting site or organization, that they
use these same rules they are recommending, and tools that help, and
also check their own works, too. Maybe it was simply a rush to get
something up onto a site and all these pre flight options were bypassed
or assumed, but even though I have been coding for years, I validate
pages and double check. Then the piece could have been held up for
delivery until a few key and very basic things were met.

Guideline conformance.
Alternative delivery of content.

I have my scripting on and see neither... There is plenty of information
on how, and the changes may not be that overpowering to do.

I believe another point is the RNIB, NFB, and others... have been on the
case of developers to somehow support, create, and enforce or persuade
some sort of guidelines. And their own work will be looked at and
criticized. Though I agree that it can be a bit lopsided and seem unfair
at times, I realize this is the reality of the work place and also the
reality of working in this or any other design and development arena.

The RNIB, and the NFB, and believe me, no pun is intended, have been
short sighted and probably unaware that there are many other challenges
and disabilities accessing the Internet also with special needs. Several
of these needs sometimes actually conflict with their own. We all need
to increase awareness, across the board, and learn a bit more about what
it is that challenges people most, from as many areas as possible.

I do not believe this is a media where we should restrict games such as
the RNIB's. But, on the other hand, the accessibility community expects
the developers and designers to try and retrofit and deliver information
and content to the very widest audiences possible, and this is the same
stick that those individual groups should be held to when measuring up
on the access awareness and conformance scale. Or they need to learn.
Criticisms like these, earlier in the thread, may be just that incentive
for others to take a look at what they are doing.

Though my points sound strong, They are not of anger, but awareness that
this is going to take time and patience, and I am just happy that
communities in the web design and development arenas - that got heavilly
attacked over recent years, are now becoming the tools to also promote
awareness and growth in seeing how we can meet the needs of many or

Take a look at the new WaSP [ http://www.webstandards.org ] pages...
Take a look at Macromedia and its tools - a way to go yet, but they are
addressing and working with needs, yes
Adobe is doing this also.
A List Apart http:///www.alistapart.com
[yet people have been criticized over the years, they do open their
hearts, minds, and listen and do make changes]

These are not the only places as companies are trying to retrofit,
I think if we can take it a notch up from finger pointing, and try and
figure out some constructive positive ways to do something with the
information at hand. And yes, I agree with the idea, turn that
Javascript off, however, if that writer's JavaScript was off, there
should have been an alternative for that also. For the Flash, for the
Javascript, not blank empty pages.

Turn it on, view it, write down why you think this site is innaccessible
including my script was off and I was looking at a blank page. My
computer does not have Flash, was there a link to Flash, was there
alternative content, was there a notification anywhere that this media
or game was only available if you had flash and javascript on... and if
not, let them know, and send them a Bobby and WAI link, seems they need
some more information to work with.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David R. Stong" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: RNIB "accessible" game

| Tom, how would you define "accessible?" I've thought that I'm all for
| it, but find lately that I'm confused as to what it is.
| Does it imply making no effort? If a page has to be accessed with
| scripting turned on, and script capabilities are part of standard
| browsers, couldn't we say that a page with valid javascript is
| accessible with some effort on the users part?
| I'm afraid of turning off the developers who are currently trying to
| meet all users needs. Many are working on ways to utilize javascript
| to enable and include rather than exclude ( check
| http://www.trace.wisc.edu/world/java/jseval.htm ). Newer versions of
| JAWS, WindowEyes, and Home Page Reader are created to implement new
| Web practices. Will it all be for nothing?
| Currently Macromedia is struggling to make Flash content accessible
| to everyone who has the Flash plugin. Adobe is struggling to make PDF
| fully accessible to anyone with the Acrobat Reader plug in. Both
| companies are also struggling to give returns to investors and pay
| medical benefits for employees. I applaud all of their efforts. But
| no; currently someone needing a screen reader to access Web content
| won't be able to access content on this page unless they have
| WindowEyes, Internet Explorer on the Windows platform, scripting
| turned on, the Flash 6 plugin, and oh yes, a computer.
| I suggest you turn scripting on, access what you can, and send
| Macromedia and Blue Wave as much professional feedback as you can.
| I'll bet they'll listen.
| >I just received a message from the RNIB's Campaign for Good Web
Design mailing
| >list. I won't copy it all here, it is available to read at
| >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RNIBCampaignforGoodWebDesign/message/31
| >
| >Basically the RNIB got Bluewave (http://www.bluewave.com) to produce
a game in
| >flash for their "Look Loud Day" - but make it accessible...
| >
| > "The brief RNIB gave Bluewave was to use Flash MX to create an
online game
| > that would be as accessible to blind people as it is to sighted
| >
| >...well they clearly failed - http://lookloud.bluewave.com/ is the
end result.
| >
| >Frames. Scripting. Browser detection. Invalid HTML. Not what I call
| >accessible!
| >
| >I'm sighted, and yet could not access the page due to having
| >scripting disabled
| >in IE. I got a nice, white, blank page. It's no good making flash
| >accessible if
| >the page that contains it isn't.
| >
| >Maybe the RNIB should get a refund if they did pay for this shoddy
bit of
| >development.
| >
| >
| >Cheers
| >--
| >Tom Gilder
| >http://tom.me.uk/
| >
| >
| >----
| >To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
| >visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
| --
| David R. Stong, Graphic Designer, http://www.personal.psu.edu/drs18
| 225 Computer Building, University Park PA
| Working for Universal Design:
| http://cac.psu.edu/training/outlines/accessibility
| ----
| To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
| visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

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