moderated [External] : Re: more about another jfw list discussion list


 

On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 01:08 PM, Don Mauck wrote:
Another thing that gets over looked is that you are dealing with different disabilities besides just low vision. Cognitive issues being a prime example. That takes some understanding in how to write messages or instructions.
As a cognitive rehab therapist in a brain injury services program for six years, and a speech-language pathologist, don't I know it.

But no matter who is writing instructions, or when, they are writing for a presumed target audience.  If another audience happens to "get their hands on" that instruction set, and it's not ideal, that doesn't make the instructions "bad," just not intended for the user who's using them.

But I'm also not willing to go through my cyber life presuming that most that I meet have some sort of hidden disability, even on these groups.  Online, even more than in day to day interaction, no one can be the proverbial mind reader.  And if someone doesn't mention a given situation or circumstance that's relevant, there's no way that a random reader should presume something quite outside that great middle area of the bell curve within a given community.

I'll always assume "basically capable of pretty much anything most people can do" unless clued-in otherwise, with the exception of a stated disability.  I don't assume that someone who's blind can see, but I also assume that they're otherwise like most other folks I know other than in that respect.  And that's because the vast majority of individuals I've known who are blind have been just that. And that comes from working with these folks as my coworkers, clients, and, at one time, my young students.  That, and having one of my dearest friends having been blind since birth (she passed away this past January, but I knew her for years).
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Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Orlando Enrique Fiol
 

At 01:08 PM 5/18/2021, Don Mauck wrote:
Another thing that gets over looked is that you are dealing with
different disabilities besides just low vision. Cognitive issues being
a prime example. That takes some understanding in how to write
messages or instructions.
That's very true, Don. However, as disabled people, we need to know what we need and how to ask for it, rather than assume that others are supposed to know and deliver it to us piping hot on silver platters. If someone is rattling off instructions such as, "click on the mixer icon and drag the dial to the desired track," I have to look out for my own needs and say, "Hold up, back up. That icon is probably unlabeled. Is it near any standard control to which I could navigate? Is there any alternative to dragging that dial? Do the arrows move it?"
So, if a cognitively-challenged person doesn't understand a portion of provided instructions, they have to step up and say/write, "I don't understand that. Please clarify," or even: "This makes no sense; can I call you and be walked through this?" Very likely, someone will be willing to do that, especially during these gradually reopening times. I sure am willing to help people by phone or audio/video chat, which is often more meaningful than email or text.


Orlando Enrique Fiol
Charlotte, North Carolina
Professional Pianist/Keyboardist, Percussionist and Pedagogue
Ph.D. in Music theory
University of Pennsylvania: November, 2018
Home: (980) 585-1516
Mobile: (267) 971-7090


Don Mauck
 

Another thing that gets over looked is that you are dealing with different disabilities besides just low vision. Cognitive issues being a prime example. That takes some understanding in how to write messages or instructions.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 11:04 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: [External] : Re: more about another jfw list discussion list

 

On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 12:46 PM, Orlando Enrique Fiol wrote:

Sightling instructions tend not to specify in which type of control environment the desired item is located. As such, the true action taken by clicks can be ambiguous. In list views, pointing at items doesn't actually select them; it only brings focus to them, whereas clicking actually selects them.

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You'll get no argument from me there.  But I never said there are no ambiguities, and that's a lesson I've learned about writing instructions once I got into the screen reader world.  But writing out the control I'm talking about is dirt simple, so I now do.  But I get why those who are writing for a target audience they presume can see, when discussing a graphical user interface, omit words in favor of pictures.   I have scads of old instruction sets I wrote prior to using alt-text routinely for graphics where the graphic itself makes it immediately obvious to the viewer what's being talked about.  I now try to avoid both relying strictly on graphics, including the necessary specifics, and include alt-text for the graphics even if that's just something along the lines of, "Selecting the {insert specific thing here}," as the description.

It is very difficult to get those who don't use screen readers to actually separate the concepts of "gain focus on" and "select" and "activate" because a single click on something gains you focus on it and selects it at a minimum.  And in the case of doing so on a link, it does all three at one time.  You most often get a sense of whether activation is involved as an atomic element of that click based on what the following instruction states.  If it's something like, "Now, in the dialog that appears . . .," you can pretty much assume that a point and click instruction is an instance where all three actions were rolled into one single click.  

Another of my "things" is emphasizing that you (any you) must read through an instruction set completely before even setting out with the first one, and not just in computing.  My own partner drives me insane because he doesn't do this routinely, and I can't count the number of times, when cooking, there's a big oops because an ingredient not mentioned in the ingredient list (it happens) isn't in the house or he skips something because he never read it through first and was in a rush.  There are too many potential pitfalls in any complex instruction set, even those in step-by-step format, for it to be a good idea to start and hope you make it through unscathed without ever having read them first.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide