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RE: ABBR vs. just spelling it out.


From: Maren Child
Date: Mar 29, 2006 5:00PM

I would imagine the acronyms and abbreviations would present the biggest
hurdle to those with a cognitive disability. A blind person would be able to
remember the meaning from the first time it was spelled out just as well as
a sighted person. Anyone could forget and have to go back and look it up
again, if the abbr tag hasn't been used.
As editors, we deal with documents full of abbreviations and acronyms all
the time - especially in government documents. In a printed document, we
spell out an acronym/abbreviation the first time it occurs in each chapter,
followed by the acronym/abbreviation in parentheses. For the rest of the
chapter we use the acronym/abbreviation. We also have a list of all the
acronyms and abbreviations at the end of the document. When we convert the
documents to html we do the same - there is a link from every web page of
the document to a list of abbreviations and acronyms with their meanings. So
you would not have to go back and search for it in the page you were on, you
could go to the list (which could have an alpha list at the top so you could
choose the first letter and jump to that section). The problem with that
approach I suppose is that if you were using a screenreader, it could be
hard to skip to there and then go back and find your place in the document.

Maren Child
WordsWorth Writing