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Thread: Screen Reader Survey Results

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Number of posts in this thread: 15 (In chronological order)

From: Jared Smith
Date: Fri, Jun 01 2012 8:58AM
Subject: Screen Reader Survey Results
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The results from our most recent screen reader user survey are
available at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/

Thank you to everyone that completed the survey. We had 1782
responses, making this the most popular survey yet. There are some
very interesting trends and surprises. We've published a summary of a
few notable items on our blog at
http://webaim.org/blog/survey-4-results/

Jared Smith
WebAIM.org

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Tue, Jun 05 2012 10:08PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Ok, I'm not a fan of crickets, so I'm wading in...

A big "thanks!" to WebAIM for writing, hosting and administering its 4th survey of screen reader users!

I'm surprised not to read some (any?) comment on this list. It's interesting reading, people! This is data.

Here's the URL again:

http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/

I've written my own brief assessment that may interest folks on this list.

http://www.commonlook.com/headings-matter-to-at-users

Best regards,

Duff Johnson

> The results from our most recent screen reader user survey are
> available at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/
>
> Thank you to everyone that completed the survey. We had 1782
> responses, making this the most popular survey yet. There are some
> very interesting trends and surprises. We've published a summary of a
> few notable items on our blog at
> http://webaim.org/blog/survey-4-results/
>
> Jared Smith
> WebAIM.org
> > >

From: John E Brandt
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 6:57AM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

I blogged about it as well...not so much to share an opinion, but simply to
help publicize it.
http://jebswebs.net/blog/2012/06/screen-reader-survey/

Thumbs up to WebAIM!

John E. Brandt
www.jebswebs.com
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
207-622-7937
Augusta, Maine, USA


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Duff Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 12:09 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Ok, I'm not a fan of crickets, so I'm wading in...

A big "thanks!" to WebAIM for writing, hosting and administering its 4th
survey of screen reader users!

I'm surprised not to read some (any?) comment on this list. It's interesting
reading, people! This is data.

Here's the URL again:

http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/

I've written my own brief assessment that may interest folks on this list.

http://www.commonlook.com/headings-matter-to-at-users

Best regards,

Duff Johnson

> The results from our most recent screen reader user survey are
> available at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/
>
> Thank you to everyone that completed the survey. We had 1782
> responses, making this the most popular survey yet. There are some
> very interesting trends and surprises. We've published a summary of a
> few notable items on our blog at
> http://webaim.org/blog/survey-4-results/
>
> Jared Smith
> WebAIM.org
> > > list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 10:19AM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

On Jun 6, 2012, at 8:57 AM, John E Brandt wrote:

> I blogged about it as well...not so much to share an opinion, but simply to
> help publicize it.
> http://jebswebs.net/blog/2012/06/screen-reader-survey/
>
> Thumbs up to WebAIM!

Nice post, John.

Like me, I note that you were also struck by the significance of headings and heading levels as a means of navigation.

I've been banging this drum for some time now, mostly collecting mostly yawns from HTML aficionados. I'll admit that it's gratifying to have my experience as a service-provider of 12 years validated by this survey.

So many people in this field are convinced that "navigation" means "links". Maybe that's so in HTML but it's not generally applicable.

Where I come from (PDF), the only available means of content-based navigation IS document structure (H1, H2, etc). Using links to drive (i.e., serve as the vehicle for) intra-document navigation is a rarity in PDF. From an accessibility point of view it doesn't help a lot anyhow since the PDF language doesn't (today) allow good execution - PDF links can't target within a page. :-(

So, maybe it's just my PDF "upbringing", but conceptually confusing "navigation" and "link" has never worked for me. Surely "navigation" bespeaks a system, denotes structure, and so on. Links are merely a means of transport; they take you from a to b. Confusing links with navigation is like confusing a bus with a map.

Thanks for sharing the *link*. :-)

Duff.

From: Bevi Chagnon
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 10:59AM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Duff wrote: "Confusing links with navigation is like confusing a bus with a
map."

That's a great analogy, Duff. Plus it made me chuckle.
--Bevi
-----------------------------------------------------
Bevi Chagnon | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
PubCom - Trainers, consultants, designers, and developers
Print | Web | Acrobat | XML | eBooks | Section 508
-----------------------------------------------------
Classes: www.PubCom.com/classes
Publishing Blog: www.pubcom.com/blog
-----------------------------------------------------
*** It's our 31st Year! ***

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Duff Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 12:20 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

On Jun 6, 2012, at 8:57 AM, John E Brandt wrote:

> I blogged about it as well...not so much to share an opinion, but
> simply to help publicize it.
> http://jebswebs.net/blog/2012/06/screen-reader-survey/
>
> Thumbs up to WebAIM!

Nice post, John.

Like me, I note that you were also struck by the significance of headings
and heading levels as a means of navigation.

I've been banging this drum for some time now, mostly collecting mostly
yawns from HTML aficionados. I'll admit that it's gratifying to have my
experience as a service-provider of 12 years validated by this survey.

So many people in this field are convinced that "navigation" means "links".
Maybe that's so in HTML but it's not generally applicable.

Where I come from (PDF), the only available means of content-based
navigation IS document structure (H1, H2, etc). Using links to drive (i.e.,
serve as the vehicle for) intra-document navigation is a rarity in PDF. From
an accessibility point of view it doesn't help a lot anyhow since the PDF
language doesn't (today) allow good execution - PDF links can't target
within a page. :-(

So, maybe it's just my PDF "upbringing", but conceptually confusing
"navigation" and "link" has never worked for me. Surely "navigation"
bespeaks a system, denotes structure, and so on. Links are merely a means of
transport; they take you from a to b. Confusing links with navigation is
like confusing a bus with a map.

Thanks for sharing the *link*. :-)

Duff.
messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Angela French
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 12:12PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

I showed Duff's quote to a co-worker who added:

"And the user is the rider, waiting in the rain for bus service that's been cut."

As state employees who keep getting our staff laid off, we're a bit cynical.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Bevi Chagnon
>Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 9:59 AM
>To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results
>
>Duff wrote: "Confusing links with navigation is like confusing a bus with a
>map."
>
>That's a great analogy, Duff. Plus it made me chuckle.
>--Bevi

From: Tim Harshbarger
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 12:49PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

I am trying to be careful how I state this because I don't want anyone to think that the WebAIM survey isn't a valuable tool, because it is. However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and not actually what their behavior is. With human beings, there can be a disconnect between what people think is valuable and what they actually value in reality.

From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels were useful. I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful. Does it have to be h1, h2, h3? Can it be h1, h3, h5? Can it be h2 for a navigational area on the side and h1 for the main content? Does it actually matter? Is the real value consistency across a site or document?
I also find myself wondering how users of screen readers progress in their approaches to using a web page. What about those people who are not tech savvy, never want to be tech savvy, and for whom a computer is just some equipment to get a task done? That may be another value of the WebAIM survey--to get us wondering about the details and then going out and figuring out how to find that information out.

The demographic information is useful, but I'm never sure how reflective it is of the general population. It might be super accurate. It might not be. In accessibility, there is a heck of a lot of basic data we just lack. The WebAIm survey is definitely one way we can try to address it.

Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to take the survey this year. It was great to see that. It should lead to us getting better data. I'm just uncertain it really tells us whether or not more people (in the general population) are using NVDA or other screen reader alternatives. Of course, WebAIM's results will still figure into my plans for determining what all needs to be part of our test environment and strategy.

When it comes to navigation and links, I suspect the problem is a difference in what we think navigation is and what others think it is.

Links are navigation. I suspect most people think of navigation as that feature of an app or site that allows you to get to different pages or functions. I think we all consider that navigation--but we also think about navigation within a page or a screen too.

Most of the people we talk with are navigating that page with their eyes and their scrollwheel. It's so integral to what they do that they don't even really pay much attention to it. They'll talk about changing things to draw the attention of users or ensuring that users are aware of an error or some element on the page. But that's not navigation to them.

Their version of pressing the "h" key to navigate to the next heading is just shifting their gaze to the next thing on the page. I don't ever think I have heard someone talk about "navigating" their gaze to headings or pieces of a page. But from our perspective, that is what they are doing. It's just not how they think of it.

It is definitely one of those things that makes meetings with designers interesting. They'll bring their wire diagrams. I can't read their diagrams. So we start talking about the page. As they describe the page using their "designer" language, I start describing it the way I see it and organize it. I usually pick up a few new terms from them and (if I am doing my job right) they hopefully start looking at their visual designs differently.

In fact, my personal opinion is that one of the many enjoyable things about working on accessibility is that we get to learn to speak the languages of so many different types of people from project managers, designers, developers, testers, security analysts, etc. Not only do I need to understand what people with disabilities want and need, but I get to learn what people in various project roles want and need.

And that is my dime's worth. In fact, I believe it is time for me to figure out some plans for testing. That should keep me out of trouble.

From: Jared Smith
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 1:20PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are
conclusive. We know the screen reader survey is not representative of
all screen reader users. We would love to do more in-depth research
with controlled subjects to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research
project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is
difficult. Of bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as
fact can be detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they
want a feature or not, they'll almost always say they want it, though
if every site provided that feature it would probably make the web
less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels were useful.  I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful.  Does it have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many
respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what
we even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more
specific details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a
popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was
one respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader
and to lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility
(to be clear, duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey
results). At the same time, we love that we're getting more
respondents to the surveys which lends more credibility to the
results.

Jared

From: Andrews, David B (DEED)
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 1:29PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

I think the survey is valuable, especially over a period of time. One of the things that struck me was the number of persons who reported themselves as expert or intermediate screen reader/computer users.

I think this means one of two things -- the survey responses aren't an accurate reflection of the skill level in the general blindness community, or that people think they are better than they are.

As some of you know, I run a bunch of blindness-related mailing lists. So, I read questions, answers, discussions etc., each and every day -- hundreds of messages. And ... more than 5 percent of the community are beginners.

I suspect that the cream of the crop, so to speak were the majority of survey respondents. I say this as an observation -- not a criticism.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are conclusive. We know the screen reader survey is not representative of all screen reader users. We would love to do more in-depth research with controlled subjects to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is difficult. Of bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as fact can be detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they want a feature or not, they'll almost always say they want it, though if every site provided that feature it would probably make the web less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels were useful.  I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful.  Does it have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what we even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more specific details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was one respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader and to lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility (to be clear, duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey results). At the same time, we love that we're getting more respondents to the surveys which lends more credibility to the results.

Jared

From: Ryan E. Benson
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 7:27PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Duff and others,

While this is not an attack on anybody, I would like to address
something. I was only able to get finish Duff's post to the "Mobile
devices are rockin'" section. The part that stuck out to me was his
section "AT users to world: the web is not getting more accessible", I
haven't talked to you, Duff, so I don't know what you really meant by
it; either you could be just be pointing it out or could be read as
"but, but, but I [and others] work hard on promoting accessibility,
how can that be said?!?" I would say the answer is somewhat easy, if
you simplify it. Ask most people what are the most popular sites, you
will most likely get Facebook and Google for an answer. If then ask
what sites have accessibility issues, you will most likely get...
Facebook and Google again. I know that Google has a group that is for
talking about accessibility, even though issues are posted, there is
nothing closing the loop part of the time. Yes some issues do get
fixed, but some issues/threads just die because the person or people
who find the bug get tired of saying please fix this. I personally
filed two bugs in the last two or three weeks. One bug was passed onto
the webkit folks, I followed the thread for a day or so, but the way
they were planning to fix it was the wrong way.

The only way I know to raise an issue with Facebook is to fill out a
contact form. I know I did this a few years ago and didn't get a
reply.

With all that said, even though various groups are doing good things;
whether it be WebAIM with stuff like this, the improvements with
jQuery, etc, it doesn't get seen if the big guys aren't doing it. Thus
no improvements are perceived.

--
Ryan E. Benson


On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:08 AM, Duff Johnson < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Ok, I'm not a fan of crickets, so I'm wading in...
>
> A big "thanks!" to WebAIM for writing, hosting and administering its 4th survey of screen reader users!
>
> I'm surprised not to read some (any?) comment on this list. It's interesting reading, people! This is data.
>
> Here's the URL again:
>
> http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/
>
> I've written my own brief assessment that may interest folks on this list.
>
> http://www.commonlook.com/headings-matter-to-at-users
>
> Best regards,
>
> Duff Johnson
>
>> The results from our most recent screen reader user survey are
>> available at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4/
>>
>> Thank you to everyone that completed the survey. We had 1782
>> responses, making this the most popular survey yet. There are some
>> very interesting trends and surprises. We've published a summary of a
>> few notable items on our blog at
>> http://webaim.org/blog/survey-4-results/
>>
>> Jared Smith
>> WebAIM.org
>> >> >> >
> > >

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Wed, Jun 06 2012 8:07PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Ryan,

> While this is not an attack on anybody, I would like to address
> something. I was only able to get finish Duff's post to the "Mobile
> devices are rockin'" section. The part that stuck out to me was his
> section "AT users to world: the web is not getting more accessible", I
> haven't talked to you, Duff, so I don't know what you really meant by
> it; either you could be just be pointing it out or could be read as
> "but, but, but I [and others] work hard on promoting accessibility,
> how can that be said?!?"

I'm simply pointing it out. This is no comment on the work that you, I or others put into improving accessibility. It's simply to say that we are very small and the world is very big.

If you want my honest opinion it is that I have *not* observed a notable acceleration in the production of accessible web content or adoption of accessibility practices over the past 5+ years. Take a look at who does the professional work of accessibility - more or less the same people as five years ago. This is time-intensive work, so that's not the sign of a growing industry. Take a look at when most of the articles, best-practice documents, blog-posts, etc. offering accessibility wisdom were written - all before 2008, and relatively few since. I've been reliably informed that the same thing can be observed in the German accessibility literature. [NOTE: These are NOT scientifically-validated observations, just my impressions based on spending a lot of time surfing the web on this subject.]

At the end of the day, as Jared said, all these perceptions of those "of the user" and aren't objective per se. Doubtless if they were surfing FaceBook (or trying to) before they answered the survey it will color the results.

On the other hand, when you have statistically useful numbers of respondents (as in this survey) the quality of the data tends to go up. I'm not saying that this survey's questions offer (many) obvious conclusions, but a few do (in my view) pop out.

Probably the most interesting survey would involve participants allowing some kind of cookie which could facilitate recording (anonymously) what they actually DO online and thus provide context for understanding their subjective feedback. That would be exceptionally cool.

> I would say the answer is somewhat easy, if
> you simplify it. Ask most people what are the most popular sites, you
> will most likely get Facebook and Google for an answer. If then ask
> what sites have accessibility issues, you will most likely get...
> Facebook and Google again. I know that Google has a group that is for
> talking about accessibility, even though issues are posted, there is
> nothing closing the loop part of the time. Yes some issues do get
> fixed, but some issues/threads just die because the person or people
> who find the bug get tired of saying please fix this. I personally
> filed two bugs in the last two or three weeks. One bug was passed onto
> the webkit folks, I followed the thread for a day or so, but the way
> they were planning to fix it was the wrong way.

These are all excellent points and provide food for thought on how future surveys could be augmented.

> The only way I know to raise an issue with Facebook is to fill out a
> contact form. I know I did this a few years ago and didn't get a
> reply.
>
> With all that said, even though various groups are doing good things;
> whether it be WebAIM with stuff like this, the improvements with
> jQuery, etc, it doesn't get seen if the big guys aren't doing it. Thus
> no improvements are perceived.

More people did say the web was improving than said it wasn't. It was the negative perception that was going the wrong way.

Certainly, you are making me think that there are many fascinating data-points to be collected. Someone needs to fund WebAIM to be able to do all this stuff!

Duff.

From: Tim Harshbarger
Date: Thu, Jun 07 2012 6:49AM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Jared,

You and me both--I would love to perform or see more detailed user testing. Maybe, I should start playing the lottery. If I win, I'll let you know and we can make plans to start that testing. It would be a dream come true to do that kind of work.

Tim

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are
conclusive. We know the screen reader survey is not representative of
all screen reader users. We would love to do more in-depth research
with controlled subjects to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research
project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is
difficult. Of bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as
fact can be detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they
want a feature or not, they'll almost always say they want it, though
if every site provided that feature it would probably make the web
less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels were useful.  I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful.  Does it have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many
respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what
we even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more
specific details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a
popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was
one respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader
and to lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility
(to be clear, duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey
results). At the same time, we love that we're getting more
respondents to the surveys which lends more credibility to the
results.

Jared

From: Noble,Stephen L.
Date: Thu, Jun 07 2012 12:48PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

I would like to suggest that future surveys include something about access to non-literary text...primarily STEM content...especially mathematics. When I talk to screen-reader vendors about the need to support access to STEM content, especially content which contains Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), I receive rather cool responses. Typically, it is something akin to "we never hear from our customers" that users want to read such materials or that they never hear feedback from people that have problems trying to read math equations that aren't accessible. Therefore, it would very valuable to document both current practice (i.e., the number of users who read MathML content with screen-readers), as well as including inaccessible mathematics (e.g., the typical use of inaccessible gifs to present math) as one of the problematic items" in the list included in the survey.

--Steve Noble
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
502-969-3088
http://louisville.academia.edu/SteveNoble

From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] on behalf of Andrews, David B (DEED) [ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:29 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

I think the survey is valuable, especially over a period of time. One of the things that struck me was the number of persons who reported themselves as expert or intermediate screen reader/computer users.

I think this means one of two things -- the survey responses aren't an accurate reflection of the skill level in the general blindness community, or that people think they are better than they are.

As some of you know, I run a bunch of blindness-related mailing lists. So, I read questions, answers, discussions etc., each and every day -- hundreds of messages. And ... more than 5 percent of the community are beginners.

I suspect that the cream of the crop, so to speak were the majority of survey respondents. I say this as an observation -- not a criticism.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are conclusive. We know the screen reader survey is not representative of all screen reader users. We would love to do more in-depth research with controlled subjects to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is difficult. Of bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as fact can be detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they want a feature or not, they'll almost always say they want it, though if every site provided that feature it would probably make the web less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels were useful. I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful. Does it have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what we even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more specific details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was one respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader and to lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility (to be clear, duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey results). At the same time, we love that we're getting more respondents to the surveys which lends more credibility to the results.

Jared

From: John E Brandt
Date: Thu, Jun 07 2012 3:03PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | Next message →

Apparently EPUB 3 has support for Math ML...but I am not surprised to hear
the comments from publishers.
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-richlayoutepub/x-richlayoutepub-
pdf.pdf

~j

John E. Brandt
www.jebswebs.com
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
207-622-7937
Augusta, Maine, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Noble,Stephen L.
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 2:49 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

I would like to suggest that future surveys include something about access
to non-literary text...primarily STEM content...especially mathematics. When
I talk to screen-reader vendors about the need to support access to STEM
content, especially content which contains Mathematical Markup Language
(MathML), I receive rather cool responses. Typically, it is something akin
to "we never hear from our customers" that users want to read such materials
or that they never hear feedback from people that have problems trying to
read math equations that aren't accessible. Therefore, it would very
valuable to document both current practice (i.e., the number of users who
read MathML content with screen-readers), as well as including inaccessible
mathematics (e.g., the typical use of inaccessible gifs to present math) as
one of the problematic items" in the list included in the survey.

--Steve Noble
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
502-969-3088
http://louisville.academia.edu/SteveNoble

From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] on behalf of Andrews, David B (DEED)
[ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:29 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

I think the survey is valuable, especially over a period of time. One of
the things that struck me was the number of persons who reported themselves
as expert or intermediate screen reader/computer users.

I think this means one of two things -- the survey responses aren't an
accurate reflection of the skill level in the general blindness community,
or that people think they are better than they are.

As some of you know, I run a bunch of blindness-related mailing lists. So,
I read questions, answers, discussions etc., each and every day -- hundreds
of messages. And ... more than 5 percent of the community are beginners.

I suspect that the cream of the crop, so to speak were the majority of
survey respondents. I say this as an observation -- not a criticism.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are conclusive. We
know the screen reader survey is not representative of all screen reader
users. We would love to do more in-depth research with controlled subjects
to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research
project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and
not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is difficult. Of
bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as fact can be
detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they want a feature or
not, they'll almost always say they want it, though if every site provided
that feature it would probably make the web less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels
were useful. I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful. Does it
have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many
respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what we
even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more specific
details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to
take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a
popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was one
respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader and to
lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility (to be clear,
duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey results). At the same
time, we love that we're getting more respondents to the surveys which lends
more credibility to the results.

Jared

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =


messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Noble,Stephen L.
Date: Thu, Jun 07 2012 3:41PM
Subject: Re: Screen Reader Survey Results
← Previous message | No next message

Yes, there is support for MathML in EPUB 3, and hopefully we'll see publishers using it. Technically, MathML is also supported in PDF (part of PDF/UA standard), but no editing tools bother to build in a means to easily get the MathML code into the document. That's another dead-end conversation I typically have with vendors of PDF editing tools...along the lines of "none of our customers have told us they want to do that."

--Steve Noble
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
502-969-3088
http://louisville.academia.edu/SteveNoble


From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] on behalf of John E Brandt [ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 5:03 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Apparently EPUB 3 has support for Math ML...but I am not surprised to hear
the comments from publishers.
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-richlayoutepub/x-richlayoutepub-
pdf.pdf

~j

John E. Brandt
www.jebswebs.com
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
207-622-7937
Augusta, Maine, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Noble,Stephen L.
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 2:49 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

I would like to suggest that future surveys include something about access
to non-literary text...primarily STEM content...especially mathematics. When
I talk to screen-reader vendors about the need to support access to STEM
content, especially content which contains Mathematical Markup Language
(MathML), I receive rather cool responses. Typically, it is something akin
to "we never hear from our customers" that users want to read such materials
or that they never hear feedback from people that have problems trying to
read math equations that aren't accessible. Therefore, it would very
valuable to document both current practice (i.e., the number of users who
read MathML content with screen-readers), as well as including inaccessible
mathematics (e.g., the typical use of inaccessible gifs to present math) as
one of the problematic items" in the list included in the survey.

--Steve Noble
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
502-969-3088
http://louisville.academia.edu/SteveNoble

From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] on behalf of Andrews, David B (DEED)
[ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:29 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

I think the survey is valuable, especially over a period of time. One of
the things that struck me was the number of persons who reported themselves
as expert or intermediate screen reader/computer users.

I think this means one of two things -- the survey responses aren't an
accurate reflection of the skill level in the general blindness community,
or that people think they are better than they are.

As some of you know, I run a bunch of blindness-related mailing lists. So,
I read questions, answers, discussions etc., each and every day -- hundreds
of messages. And ... more than 5 percent of the community are beginners.

I suspect that the cream of the crop, so to speak were the majority of
survey respondents. I say this as an observation -- not a criticism.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Reader Survey Results

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts. They are very valuable.

On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Tim Harshbarger wrote:
> However, I tend to think of it as more advisory than conclusive.

I don't think it's every been suggested that the surveys are conclusive. We
know the screen reader survey is not representative of all screen reader
users. We would love to do more in-depth research with controlled subjects
to analyze actual behaviors and preferences.
We just need someone to fund such an expensive and difficult research
project.

> User surveys like this measure what people believe their behavior is and
not actually what their behavior is.

All surveys do this. Researching beyond perceived behavior is difficult. Of
bigger concern is that presenting perceived behavior as fact can be
detrimental to accessibility. If you ask users if they want a feature or
not, they'll almost always say they want it, though if every site provided
that feature it would probably make the web less accessible.

> From the survey, I get that the respondents definitely felt heading levels
were useful. I'm not sure that tells me how they find it useful. Does it
have to be h1, h2, h3?

These are things that are hard to get at in a survey. There were many
respondents that indicated in the comments that they had no idea what we
even meant by "headings levels" or "heading 1", so asking more specific
details would just cause more confusion for many respondents.

> Honestly, I saw some groups pushing a lot harder to get their members to
take the survey this year.

This is a concern that we have as well. We never intend it to be a
popularity contest, but it is in some ways. Enough so that there was one
respondent that took over 5 hours to complete the survey nearly
150 times so he could "better represent" his favorite screen reader and to
lodge his repeated complaints against Facebook accessibility (to be clear,
duplicate responses are NOT included in the survey results). At the same
time, we love that we're getting more respondents to the surveys which lends
more credibility to the results.

Jared

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =


messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =