moderated Re: and Jaws

Glenn / Lenny

Yeah, I have had sighted people watching the screen while I am going down the page, and they have told me that the highlighted items are jumping all over the screen, yet to me, I am just going down the page.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2020 11:30 PM
Subject: Re: and Jaws

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 12:04 AM, Glenn / Lenny wrote:
What a sighted person sees has little to do with what we access.
That is a very, very ill-informed statement.  And this is coming from a fully sighted person who has very often found that "the answer" relies on what I see rather than trying to struggle with a screen reader for hours.

Any screen reader user, by definition, suffers from a degree of "information blackout."  You cannot see the screen itself, and as you pointed out, how the screen reader traverses a screen has to do with how it is designed in HTML, which is often hugely convoluted compared to what someone who can see sees can take in within a second of the screen coming up.  For some particularly badly coded pages, what is front and center visually (which, after all, is what the main media of a webpage is) is buried in some convoluted HTML, coupled with less than stellar labeling at times, making it a chore to find with a screen reader if you don't already know it's there.

Sighted people are seeing everything you can likely ever want to access.  What they don't know is exactly how you go about that (with some rare exceptions, and I count myself among those).  That's up to you, but if someone who sees tells you that such and such a thing is visible on the screen, you can likely find it much more quickly simply because you've had confirmation it's there and you should know how to seek it out with a screen reader.

And the fact that someone sighted tells you how the page is laid out visually really doesn't matter, as you know that how it's laid out visually can be at huge variance with how the elements are arranged for traversal via screen reader.  But you know they're there without having to plow through who knows how much detritus to find them, if you ever do.  And that's not an insult to screen reader users, it's just a fact that some web page designs that are great for their primary demographic, the sighted, are very, very crappy for screen reader users even if every blessed thing on the page is accessible.  I often am shocked at how a screen reader traverses elements in a page, and that's not the fault of the screen reader, but of the page designer.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363  

Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another's beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.

        ~ Joshua Liebman

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