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RE: Example of LIFT Text Transcoder solving complexaccessibility issues

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From: Philip Kiff
Date: Jul 26, 2006 11:10AM


On July 26, 2006 07:31 EST, Jason Taylor wrote:
> I thought it would be worth following up with a specific example where
> LIFT Text Transcoder can be used to create an accessible view of a
> not so accessible and hard to use section of a site. I have used the
> UGA events area.

> Testing with a range of assistive users has shown that the LIFT Text
> Transcoder view is far easier to use than the original view.

OK. Yes, there continue to be ways that the page could be improved, but I
can tell that the LIFT Text Transcoder view is better without actually
testing it. Good, quick work.

Having said that, I'm not sure this is a good example of why the LIFT Text
Transcoder is a good solution. I can see an argument for using the
Transcoder on an old CMS-driven site where the CMS itself is so outdated
that it cannot produce an acceptable page from the content in the
databases -- then you would use the Transcoder until such time as you
upgraded the system (which would of course be a priority). But the UGA
events page is not like that. It is not duplicated throughout the UGA site,
but is just one dynamically created page. It has a look-and-feel that is
entirely unique, so you wouldn't have to worry about matching it to the UGA
look-and-feel guidelines. When you add Transcoder annotations for this
page, they will apply only to this specific page.

Here is the Events page:
https://db.uga.edu/mastercalendar/

Wouldn't it be better to get someone to modify the CGI scripts and page
templates directly?

>From what I can tell, the CGI scripts that are used to put this page
together need to be fixed anyways: when I perform a search for events (using
any of the methods provided), I get a strange list of events that includes
all kinds of events outside the date range and appears to have no order.
Also, the drop down list should be changed so that it doesn't start with
2003. And how about adding a link from the Events page back to the main U
of Georgia home page (there isn't one!)? What is the use of spending
resource hours improving the accessibility of the current Events page if the
underlying page is so broken? You can't make an accessible page out of this
without doing some work on the original code.

Phil.