An Accent on Access: Writing HTML for the Widest Possible Audience.Report as inadecuate

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World Wide Web authors are often tempted to use the latest and sexiest means to present their information. "Hot" and "cool" sites use dancing graphics, frames, tables, specific fonts, and background and foreground colors to entice the reader and delight the eye. Sound clips often convey emotional content that cannot be expressed in text, and digital video clips present movement. However, the use of these means tends to disenfranchise some users. It is important to consider potential users' limitations, and make information accessible to all. Deaf readers need text support for sound clips, as well as visual clues to any audio stimuli, including beeps and bells. Blind readers need to be able to access the information content through text presented in a linear manner, so that it can be rendered as sound through their specialized equipment. Readers at the end of a telephone line need access to the information content even when they turn off the display of online images, and readers with older computers need pages that work with a text browser, such as Lynx. This paper describes hypertext markup language (HTML) coding techniques to enhance accessibility without totally forsaking attractiveness. The paper is intended for Web authors who can understand HTML tagging without lengthy explanations. (Contains 15 references.) (Author/SWC)

Descriptors: Access to Information, Accessibility (for Disabled), Audiotape Recordings, Computer Graphics, Computer Networks, Display Systems, Internet, Multimedia Materials, Online Systems, Screen Design (Computers), Sound Effects, Technological Advancement, User Needs (Information), Users (Information), Videotape Recordings, World Wide Web

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Author: Reagan, Michael J.


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