WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Question from client


From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Apr 15, 2005 2:54PM

Glenda wrote:

> "2. Could we say that the text only version will solve all the accesibility
> issues of
> our current website except those needed for people with cognotive
> disabilities?"
> I would to say NO, but I need to support my stand. Any suggestions? Off to
> do some research.

Obviously depends on the current site, but here's a few thoughts of what text only (assuming this refers to those automatically generated ones, using Betsie and co) doesn't solve (or solves in a very bad, limiting way):

- colour combinations which are indistinguishable to colour blind users - or do you expect those users to simply go and use the text-only version?
- audio/video/flash/pdf/etc files - text only doesn't magically make those accessible
- completely messed up markup and structure - tools like betsie and co can't magically turn a completely non-semantic, non-structural, non-validating piece of pseudo-html into a clean, semantic page
- if colour is used to convey information, this won't be solved by text only
- reliance on javascript - this would just be stripped out in the text-only output

...and many more.

Of course, this does not necessarily apply if the text-only version is created completely from scratch, rather than just being an automated conversion via Betsie and co...but then, what's the point? Why not make those changes to the "normal" site?

Patrick H. Lauke