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Re: Fixed font-sizes and WAI or 508


From: Lennart Borgman
Date: Feb 2, 2004 2:59PM

Hi Larry,

Thank you for pointing out the terms of use. I am a bit ashamed, but I did
not read them before. I have scanned other pages and it has always worked
well. My thought has been that it should be good to test with Bobby first
before suggesting it to the people responsible for the web site.

Hearing impairments? It has no direct bearing. I just wanted to say that I
found it plausible from my own better knowledge of this disability that
different degrees and kind of visual impairments could face you with very
different problems when trying to read a web site. Just as you and others
have replied.

To you and Jukka, Karl and Mark who have also replied I want to say thank
you for the help. My knowledge of this problem is now much better. I also do
think that it is unfortunate that the fixed font size problem is not a level
1 priority, since so many people are affected. It is also unfortunate since
it seems to be so temptating for the web designers use fixed font sizes.
(And if I am not mistaking it was quite difficult before to use relative
font sizes (problems with how style inheritance was handled) and the
solution using BIG and SMALL tags was not that well known.)

Of course I then wonder why the problem with fixed font sizes is not given a
level 1 priority, but that might be due to whom is asked whether this is a
big problem. I hope it will be moved to a level 1 priority.

Kind regards,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry G. Hull" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: "Lennart Borgman" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: Fixed font-sizes and WAI or 508


Perhaps the answer to the "good remarks from some vision impaired and
blind students" at (http://www.uu.se/) is simply that these
individuals are using screen magnifiers and screen readers that are
largely unaffected by the fixed font size.

Individuals who use their own style sheet to set font size may have a
problem if their preference is overridden by a fixed font size as may
those who use a different platform and/or operating system than the
developers. I understand a fixed 9pt font size may look fine on a
Macintosh (my machine as it happens) but appear enormous on Windows
and be unreadably small on Linux.

As far as the problem running Bobby, the online version terms of use says,
"You shall not:
1. use the Service to scan a website page that is not owned by you
or otherwise under your management and control, unless you have
received permission from the person or entity who owns or otherwise
has management and control of such website page...."
And, there may be some enforcement mechanism in place.

What bearing has a hearing disability (your last paragraph) when it
comes to the fixed font size problem?

Larry (who has a severe hearing loss himself)

>The issue came up when I looked at the web page for Uppsala University
>(http://www.uu.se/). The page can not be checked by Bobby for some reason.
>As far as I can see (without actually looking at the code;-) they are using
>fixed font-size. So I mailed them to ask if they knew about the guidelines.
>Indeed they did, they had been getting good remarks from some vision
>impaired and blind students.
>They made me realise that there is much I don't know about this. How can
>this be? My thought is that the problem can be quite different for those
>with a slight vision impairment and those who are nearly blind. I would
>really appreciate if someone could tell me "the story behind". How has this
>been handled in groups working with WAI?
>To make you better understand my question I can tell you that I am hearing
>impaired. Beeing just a little bit hearing impaired, beeing much hearing
>impaired and beeing death gives rise to some very different difficulties
>(though some difficulties are of course common too).
>- Lennart

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