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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    So is using scrolling text. It doesn't happen by itself. You actively have to make an effort to make the page less usable and less accessible.
    It wasn't about scrolling text. It was an example, there are two ways to do "some thing" but there's a way we consider wrong and a way we consider right. Replace "marquee" with anything else any client might request. I was trying to say a web developer might choose the "easier" way to do it, if they thought it was easier, even though the other way is considered the right way (or better way) to do it. And often, doing whatever the easier way is causes some other issue somewhere that impacts accessibility, or usability, or both.

    *offtopic but I do have a client who is requesting his current marquee remain as we redo his site, likely why that was the example that first came to mind... I hate marquee, unless it's a stock market site. Tickers kick a** : )

    Alzheimer’s is a slow progressing disease which attacks the brain piece by piece over a long period of time. While late stage sufferers are usually those who are unable to function on their own behalf, it usually takes a few years to work up to that and during that time, they may find it much harder to comprehend certain pieces of information without added explanation - they may for example be able to understand someone telling them something, but be unable to comprehend certain words due to their brains loss of language structure in written context.
    Having worked with demented patients, some of which had Alzheimers, I'm pretty aware of someone knowing exactly where their keys are, but not really sure anymore what they do. For me, they were the hardest people to work with, as a group, even the nice people.
    The question still is, what is the web dev supposed to do? One person doesn't remember what keys do and another knows perfectly well but forgets what a pension is or whether they have one. How many of your sites come with a dictionary for every noun on the web site? I don't want someone who is no longer able to make sound decisions making any decisions on a web site I've built, if it does anything important. How exactly am I discrimminating against people with Alzheimers again? By not explaining everything someone somewhere might not know? Because I don't have an Alzheimers' detector at the front of my site saying Alert, Alzheimers Patient, Do Not Enter. But I sure would feel pretty bad if someone were able to buy insurance for a vehicle that burned to nothing 15 years ago and they'd even paid a premie on it or something. I do not want that. (<--regarding my earlier comment that I do not want an Alzheimers patient buying a policy on a site I've built... now actually I don't think they could get through the girls upstairs without them catching it)

    The things I mentioned earlier (clear terms, minimizing/eliminating typo's and mistakes, and I'll add User Testing as well as we know users will find things we didn't think of) are about it. I'll bend over backwards a bit for something if I think it's really useful or just something that should be done and is reasonable, but I don't limbo.

  2. #52
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I think it is rather rude to call them demented, I myself have worked with people also whom have suffered a wide range of various conditions which would affect their ability to use a computer (as part of my college education in a non related course). Of course if someone cannot remember keys or simple terms they will be unable to browse the internet anyway (due to the immediate problems associated with navigating and no-one can address this) however you seem insistent on clustering them into groups of extreme or not applicable based on your earlier statements (even if you did not intend to do so).

    All I have been emphasising is that while complicated use of language is an inevitable factor, where there is excessive use of technical quotations such as in contracts, use of weasel words (which insurance companies are famous for) or terminology which only an expert in such matters would understand it makes sense to simply provide a help icon besides each element in a form which will produce a more simplistic definition of the item in question. You therefore still have the necessary wording, but you have an alternative format to which people with cognitive problems can understand easier. Accessibility is all about providing alternatives to assist people who require it, and as I have made clear several times (though apparently you have ignored) just because someone suffers from Alzheimer's does not immediately mean they are immediately to be stereotyped as unable to cope for themselves which is exactly what you have done.

  3. #53
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I think it is rather rude to call them demented[...]
    But it is factually and medically the correct terminus. Alzheimer is dementia, correct?
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  4. #54
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    While Alzheimer’s is a form of Dementia the word "demented" has almost become a derogatory term and all the sufferers of the condition I have encountered prefer it to be called by the official name of the condition eg: Alzheimers / Dementia sufferer.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Alex:

    I worked in hospitals as a radiographer before ending up here (on teh interwebs). Dementia is not a derogatory term (I'm sure someone could use it that way, though). A patient can have dementia as a diagnosis, and can and is legally used for reasons for ordering a test. Alzheimers is considered a form of dementia, but not all (or even most) dementia patients have Alzheimers. In Dutch it's a little different: english "handicapped" is "invalide" and someone can "become demented" as "dement worden". It's not the same as calling someone demented to mean they're stupid. It means somene with dementia. If you want, I can be more careful and always say "dementia" here. That's no problem. You're not supposed to say invalids in English because that means something different than invalide.
    (Actually that's kind of funny. We have invalid parking, invalid systems and invalid buildings. Which sounds strange said in English)

    My grandfather had dementia caused by strokes in his brain caused by his poor circulation caused by his diabetes. He was a dementia patient, but not an Alzheimers patient.

    All I have been emphasising is that while complicated use of language is an inevitable factor, where there is excessive use of technical quotations such as in contracts, use of weasel words (which insurance companies are famous for) or terminology which only an expert in such matters would understand it makes sense to simply provide a help icon besides each element in a form which will produce a more simplistic definition of the item in question.
    Agreed, but those are things that even fully-functional people who'd call themselves "smart" have trouble with... But I was thinking of, for example, this question we ask:
    "Geeft u hiermee machtiging tot automatische incasso?" (Do you give authorisation for us to automatically charge?) (incasso is a method of payment)

    That could be changed to something simpler, like "can we take money out of your account to pay your premiums?" except that it really needs to say "do you authorise us to use incasso automatically? For legal reasons it seems. It's not necessarily complicated language, but could it be put in a simpler version? Sure. But since it's safer to use the legal terms, we would much rather that someone not sure what that meant either
    -get someone else to look at it with them (I mean, I'd say MOST Dutch speakers would understand perfectly what that meant, but possibly a few don't) or
    -call us. This is actually best because not only is the person on the other end of the line able to explain what it means at whatever level of understanding the caller is at, but they also fully understand all the legal meanings and implications of the question (if it's a more goofy, special question especially).

    What we ended up doing is, that question has to be answered YES except if you've chosen to pay once a year, so if you want to pay monthly (the most common way) you have to say YES. The default is NO and this is great, people seem to skip it a lot. Leaving it NO calls the form validation, and they get an error: since you chose to pay (whatever, monthly) you need to allow this. And every form error gives extra messages on the bottom saying, questions? not working? call us (phone number) or email us (email addy). This worked very well, we can see people getting the error sometimes, then going back and saying YES or calling us (so far, not about that question in particular).

    So, I'm not saying, don't try to solve issues your visitors have with legal language or whatever, but on the other hand if your website is doing something rather important (not ordering movies online but say dealing with your bank account), there's a certain level of comprehension expected on the other side, and we don't care if someone has a friend or someone helping the visitor out, but we also have a certain level of language and function we're required to have.
    And I don't consider that being unnecessarily discriminatory. Sure, every website with words might be discriminating against the illiterate. Technically that's true but there's a line the web developer draws somewhere. Right now I'm discriminating against everyone who doesn't have an internet connection! I do build websites assuming people have the interwebz and a browser that can handle simple things like HTML and hyperlinks. I assume they can read, and can read Dutch. I assume they have a at least a basic understanding of the language at whatever level is required for the purpose of the website-- my catball project is aimed at kids and so of course the language is expected to be lower and friendlier.

    The problem only comes in when we make assumptions about our visitors that aren't true and that maybe we shouldn't be making at all (everyone uses IE, everyone has Javascript on, everyone has the Flash plugin, everyone can see images, everyone's dealing with this form in the same mindset we are, etc).

    *edit you explained yourself better while I was typing. Understood.

  6. #56
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Stomme poes, while I agree with everything you said what I stated in terms of using the correct terminology, you explicitly said "Having worked with demented patients" as opposed to saying dementia or Alzheimer’s which was all I was trying to correct you on. In the UK saying demented is considered as inappropriate as saying invalid. It was probably just a mistake but I felt I needed to emphasise that demented and dementia though relating to the same thing do have very different contextual meanings here.

    As for the complicated language for legal reasons, there is no reason why you could not display the legally required more complicated use of language and have the link to break down the complicated legal terminology into something simpler. Take creative commons for example, that has been accepted by courts as a legally binding contract in the past but CC made sure to underline the points with simple terminology people could understand while keeping the complicated legal jargon in there. Which is all I was proposing and though this is not always possible, in many circumstances it is not used when it could.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    In the UK saying demented is considered as inappropriate as saying invalid. It was probably just a mistake but I felt I needed to emphasise that demented and dementia though relating to the same thing do have very different contextual meanings here.
    Sure, no problem.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    It would be nice to hear back from the origional poster to see if they found anything we have posted informative...
    Hello there.

    Yes, the thread has been incredibly informative.

    BTW, I don't use "naughty" tables for layouts. I do things the "proper way", but up to this point the main reason has been because I'm a "good web designer" if I use standards compliant code and CSS layouts. This thread has helped me understand a bit more of the "why", which is what I was after.

    Cheers.

  9. #59
    SitePoint Addict Fre420's Avatar
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    This Presentation called "Access-Oriented Web Design: Building highly-interactive web apps that work for everyone" by the Filament Group, explains pretty well why to use standards.

  10. #60
    SitePoint Zealot stikkybubble's Avatar
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    If you want to know why it's important it's very simple: simply view a site with a screen reader. A few attempts should tell you everything you need to know! (It's also a lot of fun listening to the screen reader).

    Also, in some places (California for one) it's the LAW that your site has to be accessible, and you could be sued if that 0.000000001% can't use your site.

    Then there's the argument that every individual matters, and we are striving for a better world. One aspect of this is including as many people as possible in as many activities as possible. Something happened to me recently that really opened my eyes to how much difference the digital revolution has made to some people's lives - a friend got 'locked-in syndrome' (where you can only move your eyes) and some research turned up lots of folks with LIS out there in cyberspace not only using but MAKING websites.

    Help make the 21st century a great time to be alive!

  11. #61
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    If you want to know why it's important it's very simple: simply view a site with a screen reader. A few attempts should tell you everything you need to know! (It's also a lot of fun listening to the screen reader).
    Ah, but we do-- but only our own sites. There we are, humming along on our own hand-built sites with JAWS or mayeb Firevox or whatever, and everything's peachy keen-- partially because we built it, so we are already familiar with the content and the architecture, and partially because we build to standards (whether we know why we do or not).

    When someone on this forum sent me a framed banking site to test in JAWS7, I was like, woah. Where am I? And this was after a professional tried his best to make the existing pages screen-reader friendly (he couldn't ditch the frames or the other basics), and those did help a lot. But it's not the same as going to some random page written by Joe in The Program Formerly Known As FrontPage at all (thanks, I think it was Felgall who had that name for Frontpage/Expressionweb, love it). So yeah, that points out some sticking points that you otherwise wouldn't run into.

    It's also reason number 3 why I surf with JS off. You see the ugly someone thought they could hide away with a layer of bloat sometimes.

  12. #62
    SitePoint Zealot bgil's Avatar
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    I recognize there is an expense of time and money to upgrade old sites built without accessibility (that's why fortune 500 companies still have COBOL programmers). But for new sites, I would recommend an attitude of: Hey, this is new and sexy, just like C# is new and sexy compared to COBOL, lets build accessible!
    -Brad


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