Re: writing for a handicapped audience

Subject: Re: writing for a handicapped audience
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 10:56:33 EST

On 18 Nov 95, Sue Ellen Adkins wrote:

> I would expect visually impared readers to find on-line manuals more
> useful than books. Are there factors tech writers need to consider
> when writing for disabled readers? Has anyone done writing aimed at a
> handicapped audience?

I have not, and did not think of anything to add to this until Jesse Kaysen

>Yes, Sue Ellen, I've written for audio readers -- those using audio
>tape and those using speech output from the computer.

Jesse's points were well taken. The words "audio readers," though, brought
something to mind, a potential source of instruction for any of us that
need information on that writing style.

All of us are "audio readers," in a sense, any time we listen to the radio.
News copy written for radio is much different from news copy written for the
printed pages. "Hear copy" is a quick slang term, as I recall.

If your organization is looking to produce an audio version of your
documentation (or portions of it), there may be an available training source
in an unexpected place. Many local colleges offer courses in broadcasting
and broadcast journalism, and there are even a multitude of broadcasting
schools across the country. Learning the specialized techniques of writing
news copy for broadcast can be a foundation for transforming written
procedures into spoken procedures.

Not that this is a hot topic......

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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