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HTML for Disabled People?

 
 
Keith
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      02-21-2004
I am just about to start developing a website for a disabled organisation,
so obviously it need to be visible to people with a wide range of
disabilities.

Most we can deal with, but I am a little lost with designing for blind
people.

I know that blind web users have 'screen readers' to read out the content to
them and that we must use alt tags on all images without fail. However, I
am not sure what order these 'screen readers' read the page in. If I lay
the page out in a table with a varying number of rows and columns, can
anyone tell me what row and column gets read in what order. I am guessing
row 1 first, then row 2 etc., and where there are multiple colums, column 1
first then column 2 etc. Is there any way of changing the order it is read?
I want to have navigation down the left and right of my page with the main
info in the centre column, and I want the centre column read first if
possible.

Any help or advice for building for disabled people would be helpful.

Thanks


 
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Michael Wilcox
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      02-21-2004
Keith <@.> wrote:
> If I lay the page out in a table with a varying number
> of rows and columns


You want to layout a page for people with disabilities layed out with a
table? Are you kidding?

> can anyone tell me what row and column gets read
> in what order.


Like other browsers, there's no way to determine for sure how it's read.
This is part of the reader's setting.

> I want to have
> navigation down the left and right of my page with the main info in
> the centre column, and I want the centre column read first if
> possible.


http://www.saila.com/usage/layouts/
http://bluerobot.com/web/layouts/layout3.html
http://www.projectseven.com/whims/cs...oxnoscript.htm
http://www.benmeadowcroft.com/webdev...template4.html

To have the content read first, it must be written first in the source.
--
Michael Wilcox
mjwilco at yahoo dot com
Essential Tools for the Web Developer - http://mikewilcox.t35.com


 
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Michael Wilcox
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      02-21-2004
Michael Wilcox <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> To have the content read first, it must be written first in the
> source.


One more: http://www.realworldstyle.com/nn4_3col_header.html
--
Michael Wilcox
mjwilco at yahoo dot com
Essential Tools for the Web Developer - http://mikewilcox.t35.com


 
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Keith
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      02-21-2004
Hi

I can't use CSS - the client has stipulated that CSS must not be used as
some users will have override CSS in IE set! Kind of restricts me to
tables!

Some research has suggested that tables work fine with the screen readers
disabled people use but I can't find anything that tells me the order the
table cells get read in and if nesting tables screws it up.

Cheers

"Michael Wilcox" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:1JRZb.15161$(E-Mail Removed) ink.net...
> Keith <@.> wrote:
> > If I lay the page out in a table with a varying number
> > of rows and columns

>
> You want to layout a page for people with disabilities layed out with a
> table? Are you kidding?
>
> > can anyone tell me what row and column gets read
> > in what order.

>
> Like other browsers, there's no way to determine for sure how it's read.
> This is part of the reader's setting.
>
> > I want to have
> > navigation down the left and right of my page with the main info in
> > the centre column, and I want the centre column read first if
> > possible.

>
> http://www.saila.com/usage/layouts/
> http://bluerobot.com/web/layouts/layout3.html
> http://www.projectseven.com/whims/cs...oxnoscript.htm
> http://www.benmeadowcroft.com/webdev...template4.html
>
> To have the content read first, it must be written first in the source.
> --
> Michael Wilcox
> mjwilco at yahoo dot com
> Essential Tools for the Web Developer - http://mikewilcox.t35.com
>
>



 
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nice.guy.nige
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      02-22-2004
While the city slept, Keith <@.> feverishly typed:

> Hi
>
> I can't use CSS - the client has stipulated that CSS must not be used
> as some users will have override CSS in IE set! Kind of restricts me
> to tables!


You can use CSS to suggest how the various parts of the page will be
displayed, but if your style sheet is overridden, and you have layed your
content out correctly, it will still be read in a logical order. Take a look
at CSS Zengarden http://www.csszengarden.com to see how different - and no -
style sheets work on one html document.

Cheers,
Nige


--
Nigel Moss.

Email address is not valid. http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed). Take the dog out!
http://www.nigenet.org.uk | Boycott E$$O!! http://www.stopesso.com
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is very, very busy!


 
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kchayka
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      02-22-2004
Keith wrote:
>
> I can't use CSS - the client has stipulated that CSS must not be used as
> some users will have override CSS in IE set! Kind of restricts me to
> tables!


Is the client an expert in web design or accessibility guidelines? If
he is, then why has he hired you for this task? If he isn't, then why
is he telling you how to design the site?

His reason is no excuse to avoid CSS. It will in fact be a good test
that you've designed the site correctly - that it is still usable and
accessible with CSS disabled. This very much meets accessibility
guidelines, checkpoints 6.1 (priority 1) and 3.3 (priority 2) to be exact.
<URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/full-checklist.html>

Your client doesn't know what he's talking about. You should tell him
so, in a very tactful way, of course.

--
Reply address is a bottomless spam bucket.
Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
 
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Paul Furman
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2004
kchayka wrote:
> Keith wrote:
>
>>I can't use CSS - the client has stipulated that CSS must not be used as
>>some users will have override CSS in IE set! Kind of restricts me to
>>tables!

>
>
> Is the client an expert in web design or accessibility guidelines? If
> he is, then why has he hired you for this task? If he isn't, then why
> is he telling you how to design the site?
>
> His reason is no excuse to avoid CSS. It will in fact be a good test
> that you've designed the site correctly - that it is still usable and
> accessible with CSS disabled. This very much meets accessibility
> guidelines, checkpoints 6.1 (priority 1) and 3.3 (priority 2) to be exact.
> <URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/full-checklist.html>
>
> Your client doesn't know what he's talking about. You should tell him
> so, in a very tactful way, of course.



That's what I've gathered in the discussions here. The html should be
raw content ordered in the most logical way for readability so that it
makes absolute perfect sense in the simplest text browser with style
sheets turned off. The style sheets can add whatever colors and make
lists format horizontally on the top or vertically on the side. The user
may use their own style sheets with big block fonts easy to read and
colors that don't conflict with their vision problems and that's why
that approach is ideal for disabled viewers. If the most important
content is in the center column, put it first in html, then move the
navigation from the bottom to the left side with CSS. If the links don't
start till the navigation section below, they can tab direct to those
links or look them up elsewhere. Secondary links should go later in the
html and can be moved up to the right side with CSS. If the navigation
is more important than the center column article, it should go first.

Not that I know how to do all that skillfully <g>.

 
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Barry Pearson
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-22-2004
Keith wrote:
> I am just about to start developing a website for a disabled
> organisation, so obviously it need to be visible to people with a
> wide range of disabilities.
>
> Most we can deal with, but I am a little lost with designing for blind
> people.
>
> I know that blind web users have 'screen readers' to read out the
> content to them and that we must use alt tags on all images without
> fail. However, I am not sure what order these 'screen readers' read
> the page in. If I lay the page out in a table with a varying number
> of rows and columns, can anyone tell me what row and column gets read
> in what order. I am guessing row 1 first, then row 2 etc., and where
> there are multiple colums, column 1 first then column 2 etc. Is
> there any way of changing the order it is read? I want to have
> navigation down the left and right of my page with the main info in
> the centre column, and I want the centre column read first if
> possible.
>
> Any help or advice for building for disabled people would be helpful.


A linearising browser will by default read each row in turn, and render (eg.
speak) the contents of one cell before moving on to the next. Some (perhaps
all?) such browsers provide user-controls to navigate in different ways. For
example, IBM's Home Page Reader has a table navigation mode (Alt + T). There
is a way to change the linearisation order of a 3-column table so that the
centre column appears before the side columns. For example:
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articl...e_fixed_01.htm
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/layout_5_3/

One body that has examined with is the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. They
have published guidelines on the matter of how to use layout tables in such a
way that they can be handled by accessibility technology. Here is a key
reference, resulting from conclusions they reached in 1999:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#tables-layout
5.3 Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized.
Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent
(which may be a linearized version). [Priority 2]
5.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the
purpose of visual formatting. [Priority 2]

Here are some other references on this topic:

From "Building Accessible Websites" (Joe Clark), how to build accessible
tables:
http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/seri...Chapter10.html

A Dreamweaver resource that is actually more generic advice:
http://www.macromedia.com/macromedia...dw/tables.html

From University of Toronto:
http://www.utoronto.ca/atrc/tutorials/actable/

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/


 
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Lauri Raittila
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      02-22-2004
In article "Keith" <@.> wrote:
> Hi
>
> I can't use CSS - the client has stipulated that CSS must not be used as
> some users will have override CSS in IE set!


That is kind of strange argument, as it is more often used as best reason
to use CSS layout. Users that override CSS in IE usually are such that
they can't use table layouted thing at all.

> Kind of restricts me to
> tables!


People can and do use CSS to override HTML too. In fact, that is often
even easier, which is luckily as sites done using HTML layout are more
often shitty.

> Some research has suggested that tables work fine with the screen readers
> disabled people use but I can't find anything that tells me the order the
> table cells get read in and if nesting tables screws it up.


It's unlikely that you need nested tables, unless you actually use them
for tabular data, and rare even then. More likely, you don't know how to
do table layout.

I would say that there is less people knowing how to do good table layout
than how to do gopod CSS layout. And as most of those that know how to
make good table layout also know how to make good CSS layout, good table
layouts are very rare.

Do not top post.

--
Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
Saapi lähettää meiliä, jos aihe ei liity ryhmään, tai on yksityinen
tjsp., mutta älä lähetä samaa viestiä meilitse ja ryhmään.

 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      02-22-2004
Paul Furman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> The html should be
> raw content ordered in the most logical way for readability so that
> it makes absolute perfect sense in the simplest text browser with
> style sheets turned off. The style sheets can add whatever colors
> and make lists format horizontally on the top or vertically on the
> side.

[ followed by other important points ]

That's a nice summary - actually, probably the key points in practical
accessibility. Next comes the principle that styling should be made
carefully so that it both pleases and helps the user (not the
designer). Not all disabled people are blind (actually, most aren't),
and lack of sufficient contrast, confusing layout, and too bright
colors can cause serious problems, too. And using a fixed font size
will not hurt blind people, and it probably won't hurt people who have
set their browser override font size suggestions (since they can't surf
otherwise), but it will hurt the larger group of users who have
somewhat reduced eyesight (or just not as perfect as the designer's).

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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