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I've done some reading that suggests that they use programs that will read the content out loud, including image alt tags and link title tags.
I am most interested in the side text option (placing text at -500px for example). Text hidden from the normal user, visible to the blind and the bot. I'm sure it's not a new idea, but it's something I've played with and want a real answer. Also, if it works like that, there is potential to really guide a blind person through the site in an efficient manner, and not frustrate them into leaving.
1.5 million blind internet users [figure from [journalism.nyu.edu...] in north America would be a nice little niche!
I heard once that blind folks see the text located at the "side" of a page. Is this true? ... Text hidden from the normal user, visible to the blind.
If you are going to design pages for the blind, they might get irked at language like that. I think it would be a little like designing pages specifically for women and saying "When the user enters the site, he should enter his postal code so that we may find a gynecologist in his area". In either case, I would find it rather alienating.
If you are going to design pages for the blind, they might get irked at language like that.
I was just using that as an efficient way to get my point across. I don't think I'd say to a blind visitor, "Congratulations! You can see the content created specifically for blind people! Hope you enjoy looking around my site!"
Yeah... not going to say that.
I was also pointing out how some of these reflexive shorthand patterns we use to express ourselves can, in themselves be a problem. It can be thorny. For example, I often respond to emails with "Great to hear from you!", though of course I haven't heard anything. If I were writing to a deaf person though, I would try not to ask "Have you heard from Bill lately?"
You can think of it as a program that reads what is on the screen line by line. The best way to help a blind person is to have a good sitemap. Another way is to have a short menu at the top of the page. Have the site name first and then have a short menu below that with the sitemap being the last one in that short menu.
If the picture is just text have the alt tag say exactly what the text says. If it is a picture I would start out "this is a picture of all the continents with the words webmaster world.com in front of it."
I can see why you would want the menu structure to be high in the page. It must get tiresome reading the entire page top to bottom. Do your readers only function sequentially, or are you able to jump around text some? Reading these posts for example... it'd take a while to get all the way to the bottom of some of them.
Thanks again for the response.
Blind does not always mean totally blind. As a matter of fact the number of people that can not see anything at all is very small.
You have people that can:
1. Not see anything
2. Only detect light and dark
3. Only see blurs and some colors
Then you have the legally blind that are anywhere after number 3 up to 20/200.
I have a hard time fitting in because I am right at the top (20/400) I function better than my stats. I am not blind and I am not sighted. I call my self blind. I can't drive and that sucks. My friends and family often forget how bad my vision is. I often here "he can see better than he says”. That’s not true I perceive better than I can see.