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How to test for speech browsers

Joel Shepherd
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In article <q9wgzo4q0okx$(E-Mail Removed)>,
brucie <****> wrote:

> in post: <news:(E-Mail Removed)>
> jake <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
> > I am at a loss to understand this "let's make it harder for the
> > visually-impaired, learning-impaired folk, etc. to get around" attitude.

> stop assuming people with visual problem are stupid, believe it or not
> they don't need their hand held to get around a page and have been doing
> it for the last 10 years without any help from anyone.

My understanding was that the assumption underlying the skip link was
that software is stupid, not the person using it.

If, for example, there was a way to mark up a page header (much as a
table header can be marked up), or to mark up collections of links as
navigational, etc., it would be much easier for a screen reader (and its
user) to navigate the page based on semantics. It's not clear that...

> jumping from <hx> to <hx> or <p> to <p> or <a> or <ul> or <li> etc etc

.... Is really adequate. What is that <ul> there for, and why should I
bother stepping through its <li>'s? Is that <div> part of navigation, or
content? Few pages provide enough information for a human to easily make
that judgement, let alone a piece of software. (If you know of one that
does, I'd like to see it.)

> a skip link could take them anywhere on the page and get them lost.

If the convention is that it takes them directly to the start of the
core content, then there should be little fear of going anywhere else.
There is so little information about what blocks of markup on a page are
for in general (repeating the above), that having a skip link will make
little difference in terms of getting (or not getting) lost.

> while skip links are easily ignored so don't actually hinder
> accessibility they are over engineering to fix a problem that doesn't
> exists.

I guess I'm not clear on why the problem doesn't exist. Assuming a
person needs a screen reading device to use the web, how can we aid that
person in quickly (and deterministically) finding the main content,
finding navigation links, and so on?

"May she also say with just pride:
I have done the State some service."
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