RE: Click here?

Subject: RE: Click here?
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 10:19:26 -0800 (PST)

--- David Berg <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Do you know how software readers handle the Title tag? Also, I
> presume that software readers must make use of the alt text in some
> fashion...do you know what it takes for a blind user to follow a link
> that they discover via the alt text that didn't appear in the links
> list?

David, I don't know nearly enough about how software readers handle
either tag. I have worked with the Amaya browser, for it's text-only
capability, which has given me some small insight. I've also found one
text-reader, but it seems to convert the visible content of a web page
into spoken text and makes no provisions for hyperlinks, graphics, alt
text, or title text.

>From what I've seen--and I'm sure I'll be corrected on the list
<g>--the quality of software available for the visually impaired is, to
use a purely technical term, sucky.

What I've been doing, and what I would recommend to everyone, is
following the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative,
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/. They have an excellent set of
guidelines that can be followed as a standard both for developing
content and for assessing its accessibility. It is from these
guidelines that I came to understand that "click here" was a 'bad
thing'. I quote: "Use text that makes sense when read out of context.
For example, avoid 'click here.'"

The W3C WAI site also provides checklists and levels of accessibility
to which a developer can aspire. I think it's well worth the read for
those concerned about web accessibility. Those who aren't concerned
about it ought to be. Like every other aspect of doing a good
communications job, it's easier to do it right the first time than it
is to do it wrong over and over again.

Oh, an added benefit for most content developers is if you follow the
WAI Guidelines you have fewer problems with browser compatibility
issues than if you work to one browser and try to fix your code for all
others. Or so my experience leads me to believe.

>
> I worked for quite awhile on a medical web site doing a complete
> rewrite and reorganization. Many of the users that access this site
> have spinal injuries, so I tried to keep the navigation simple as
> possible, and provided alt text for the few graphics I used. One
> resource folks might keep in mind when designing web sites is Bobby,
> a web site that helps identify barriers to access by disabled users.
> You can find it at : http://www.cast.org/bobby/

Thanks for the added resource. I'll be checking it out.

=====
Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page - http://home.columbus.rr.com/murrell/

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