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Thread: Screen Readers

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    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Screen Readers

    Just wondering, but are there any recent statistics for how many people actually use screen readers?

    Thanks.
    ~TehYoyo

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    Not that I know of, but we do not really need statistics to justify developing websites for human beings. That's what I tend to point out to anyone who asks me for justification (as some people do). The last data that I saw was from the RNIB a few years ago published elsewhere, and I can't remember where. It can't be gathered by user agent data because ATs that run on browsers would not be able to provide any, so it would rely entirely on surveys. You should ask your country's equivalent of the RNIB for information.

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    Have not seen anything current. When working clients I use a don't turn customers away approach. The old statistics are such that it actually helps justify not developing screen reader friendly sites. In the US the population that is moving into, lets go with retirement age, wanting a good screen reader, highly magnified sites, etc is growing. I always like pointing out disposable income :-)

    A suggestion is to consider the mobile as your statistical friend here. Phone companies are cutting back on unlimited bandwidth, nothing like having someone go view their website and getting a you are almost over your bandwidth use for the month (LOL) being able to read the screen on their smartphone, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat30 View Post
    Not that I know of, but we do not really need statistics to justify developing websites for human beings. That's what I tend to point out to anyone who asks me for justification (as some people do).
    SPOT ON!!!

    "statistics defense" -- sounds almost like a Lame Excuse for not being a Web Professional... oh wait, it is.

    The ENTIRE POINT of HTML from day one was to deliver content to users regardless of the device capabilities -- screen, print, teletype, aural -- we got away from that during the browser wars with people sleazing out presentational markup any old way, and it's been an uphill fight to get back to USEABLE markup ever since. If all you are thinking about is desktop resolution screen -- you've failed to grasp the point of the Internet and HTML.

    When TBL made HTML, the entire concept was that it shouldn't matter if you were printing to a 72dpi applewriter, banging it out on a daisy wheel, displaying it at 22x20 on a Commodore VIC=20, or doing a high resolution render on a NeXT workstation at 1120x832 -- By saying what the content WAS -- headings, paragraphs, tables -- the user agent could customize that content so as to be best displayed on that target. See why if you choose your tags based on their default screen appearance, you're probably choosing the wrong tags.

    Which is why one should start with semantic markup of one's content (or a reasonable facsimile) with logical heading and document structure order before even THINKING about layout -- because your pretty desktop resolution layout is not all that likely to be what the visitors are going to see/use. As the article I just linked to said, this is the Internet, the only thing we know about who will come is that we don't know who will come.

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    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Teh - while not perfect, it has some decent numbers: http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey3/
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    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat
    Not that I know of, but we do not really need statistics to justify developing websites for human beings.
    Absolutely. Because businesses aren't charities (or even human) and only care about little Timmy who's fallen down the well if they can earn something helping him out. Businesses don't build anything for human beings. They build for nothing but cash. Statistics is the only way to convince them of anything.

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    I am not sure whether you really believe that cynical statement, Stomme poes, or whether you are aiming for humour or just taking the p---. If you are serious, I can assure you that it is not quite as bad all that.

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    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    It was fully meant. I believe corporations only care about money and due to fishermans' dilemmas (for those businesses who *could* care but not alone) coupled with a total lack of self-responsibility, I believe they would burn the earth to ashes for just a little more cash.

    Off Topic:

    There's a comic I read, called Romantically Apocalyptic, and their premise of the world getting destroyed a little bit at a time, where people remain indoors and entertained and so never notice until they're dead... I can see something like that happening. Unfortunately I'm not quite a motivated-enough individual to actually build a bunker, but I do have a zombie-closet with a bug-out bag. Thing is, you can't bug-out off the planet. And what would you do if you could? There is nowhere but here, and this is all we've got.

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    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    It was fully meant. I believe corporations only care about money and due to fishermans' dilemmas (for those businesses who *could* care but not alone) coupled with a total lack of self-responsibility, I believe they would burn the earth to ashes for just a little more cash.
    I second this. I can only speak about USA businesses, years ago corporations did little to change, unless there was a law or some other mandate forcing them to. Why should they? Corporations run on the idea of people are stupid, so why should they change if they don't actually need to. Look at the car, I think the average car gets 35-40 miles per gallon of gas, 10-15 years ago we were at what 20-25? They only boosted it to today's averages cause of fuel prices. With today's knowledge, I find it hard to believe that 100 mpg couldn't be achieved, if they really wanted it to be done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    I second this. I can only speak about USA businesses, years ago corporations did little to change, unless there was a law or some other mandate forcing them to. Why should they? Corporations run on the idea of people are stupid, so why should they change if they don't actually need to. Look at the car, I think the average car gets 35-40 miles per gallon of gas, 10-15 years ago we were at what 20-25?
    38 for the majority of vehicles is the upper end... you don't see a whole lot other than hybrids or really crappy little ratboxes going past that. Many so called 'economy' vehicles like the GM ecotec engine ones actually get worse mileage than their larger cousins because the engine is too small and underpowered. (common myth, less power == better mileage, enjoy burning twice the gas getting up to speed)

    Back in the 80's we were pushing 35 city and 50 highway before all the ecof... f.... folks (Trying not to piss off Wanda Sykes) got the BS of emissions control in place. Nothing like crippling the MPG to save the environment "Oh, emissions are down 30%" -- really is that why I have to burn twice the gas to get anywhere? Makers right now are struggling to keep up above 30 city when that's less than we had 30 years ago... and that's before the real lie of MPG estimates.

    They keep changing how it's measured so that the numbers climb up... which is why if you measured most cars by the 1980 standards they'd have less MPG than a pre-emissions controlled pre-nutjob scale safety standards Plymouth Cricket. (that's Hillman Avenger for our friends across the pond)

    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    I find it hard to believe that 100 mpg couldn't be achieved, if they really wanted it to be done.
    Take a physics course. That would require a level of efficiency even a turbine can't achieve, and a power to weight ratio that would mean the car would have to come in at under 150 pounds with the horsepower of todays 2500 pound car.

    As the hybrids have shown... Or just motorcycles, which have seen a decrease in mileage due to emissions but can still push past 50mpg due to their power to weight ratio and total lack of safety equipment. 250CC or smaller can push past 70, but that's rare at best... while a 50CC can pass 100 -- but the ones that do aren't street legal (since you can skip a whole slew of heavy gear when building a dirt bike). The majority of motorcycles produced today not getting as good a mileage as a '39 Nimbus or a pre 70's oil crisis Honda. Many of your 500's and larger don't even compare well to automobiles!

    There is only so much energy in a gallon of gas; unless there's some miraculous super-material breakthrough it's physically impossible for any car over 1000 pounds to break 60mpg and still pass safety standards... or have the struts punch through the body when you hit a speed bump like a 1960 lotus elite. Power to weight ratio -- it's not just about speed. See why a Chevy Malibu gets as good if not better mileage than a same year Cobolt or Aveo... or whatever they're calling their latest economy ratbox.

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    True. Jason is right.

    I have a Ford Focus Diesel, looking pretty good at some 6-8l/100km, with which I'm actually pretty pleased.
    That's like 1.6-2.1g/62miles, roughly 32-38 mpg.
    And fuel prices are higher in Romania, by comparison.

    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/aut...ormance_a1.asp

    There are efforts to make smaller engines with less consumption but with gasoline or diesel you can only go so far.
    Condemning your self to outside lanes only, taking ages to go up a hill is not the answer, and the auto makers know that.

    We all want "hybrids", that can take the slow traffic inside towns and cities with less fuel and that can "fly" out in the open, it's just not possible with this type of combustion.


    One thing I don't agree with Jason is the emissions control. If it takes more fuel to have less pollution, we win. I'm not too young to remember cars leaving you in clouds of smoke in the center of the city.

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    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Re emissions: biodiesel can win emissions with something slightly less than diesel mileage. I say slightly less because of the higher gel point of biodiesel (from fryer grease, no idea on seed oils or the original peanuts etc) so usually you add some additives and I thought those reduces your mileage.

    Most of the benefits of diesel without the hazards of petroleum particulates, which used to be diesel's biggest issue (not the gasses, but the particulates).

    I used to own a Prius (first generation outside Japan but not the first year... known in Europe as Prius Classic). It is an ideal commuter car for the supposedly typical 20-miles-per-round-trip they say the average American does, and does great in cities. Highway, it does the same as the small Corollas, and no better.

    However I wouldn't say driving a hybrid like that (Prius is a full hybrid. First-generation Hondas (Insights, Civics) were partial-hybrids because the engine never shut off) is better than diesel (in fact, more expensive), but I would like all gasoline and diesel vehicles to adopt hybrid technology for two things: regenerative braking (get back almost 30%) and shutting the engine off during warm idles. Those two things would improve the fuel consumption (not necessarily mileage) by a non-mouse-turd amount.

    It would also be nice if the US got with the rest of the modern world with regards to small diesels. This isn't the 1950's anymore.


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