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Re: Discussion for assistive technology users.

for

From: James Gagnier TBC
Date: Jan 23, 2004 9:15AM


Hello Randy:

Jaws users for the most part use Internet Explorer as their browser of
choice. This is due to the functionality that FS has provided for IE. All
applications that are accessed by Jaws depend greatly on scripts to operate
properly. While a user can use Netscape with JFW, it's functionality is not
as good due to the scripts that are provided. JFW scripts do everything
from providing special keystrokes such as insert f7 for a link list to
identifying the code behind a web page such as a heading or a list. Jaws
would be practically unusable if it's associated application scripts were
not present. This makes Jaws a powerful tool as scripts can be developed
for most applications but at the same time, this makes Jaws quite
application specific unless the user can write his own scripts for
non-standard apps. I don't believe your servers will be able to determine
if your application is accessed with Jaws as someone accessing your page
with JFW is using IE and that is the results you will get from the
"user-agent" string from the header.

James
----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Pearson" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: Discussion for assistive technology users.


When browsing the web, does JAWS work with a specific browser, or does it
simply read the screen that results from any browser? What I'm really
looking for is whether our server application, when reading the "user-agent"
string from the header, can tell that the response is targeted to a
screen-reader.

Separately, on the topic of emoticon-equivalents, such as smileys, we're
wondering what would get the attention of various assistive technologies.
Lets say you had message board software that parsed for occurrences of
strings like ":-)" and could decorate the HTML as it was rendered. Would it
be of any value to decorate this like so:

<span title="smiley face">:-)</span>

Alternatively, a parser could swap in a matching emoticon image, and use the
ALT text--probably a superior approach for various tyles of users.

-- Randy


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