I have to admit my exploration of this subject lead to a great deal of frustration this week. The first time I logged onto the screen reader simulation, I was so confused by the flurry of information that poured from my computer speakers that I had to shut it down, take a deep breath and start all over again. Bless the folks that have to use JAWS (like Jackie from the Dive Into Accessibility article) …I have no idea how they can listen to someone talking that fast and navigate their way through websites, especially for research and scholarly purposes. I tried to get the screen reader simulation to work on two different platforms. Neither MAC nor Windows versions worked perfectly, so I guess I can relate just a tiny bit with the frustration disabled computer users face on a day to dy basis.
One of the useful things I picked up from the Dive Into Accessiblity article was that websites do exsit to check the site you’ve created for accessibilty to disabled users. I ran my site through VisCheck to see how it would look to a color-blind person and wow! Recording Historical Travels looks a little different if you have a form of red/green color deficit.
I wondered, as I read through the material for this week, exactly how much control a web designer has in making a page accessible to the disabled before it comes down to the brower and the platform the user is using? If the designer has done all of the checks to insure their site meets most, if not all, of the WC3 requirements, is there still a possibility that browser or computer will make it hard for the disabled to use a site, and what if anything, can be done about that?