How to test for speech browsers

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Sally Thompson, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    website (only on the home page at present). I'd be very glad if
    someone could tell me if it works (URL in sig).

    Secondly, is there a free talking browser I could download to test my
    pages? Or one which simulates text to speech?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    --
    Sally in Shropshire, UK
    bed and breakfast near Ludlow: http://www.stonybrook-ludlow.co.uk
    Reply To address is spam trap
     
    Sally Thompson, Jul 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. Sally Thompson wrote:

    > I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    > website (only on the home page at present). I'd be very glad if
    > someone could tell me if it works (URL in sig).


    It doesn't. You haven't got an id="content" anywhere.

    > Secondly, is there a free talking browser I could download to test my
    > pages? Or one which simulates text to speech?


    Well... there is Emacspeak - I've never managed to get it working though.

    JAWS has a 30 demo available, and I assume IBM Homepage Reader does too.

    Lynx is usually enough of a test for most authors, and that is free.

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
     
    David Dorward, Jul 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Sally Thompson
    <> writes
    >
    >I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    >website (only on the home page at present). I'd be very glad if
    >someone could tell me if it works (URL in sig).


    Yes, it would work if "content" had been specified somewhere.
    i.e <....... id="content" ........>

    See http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/ST1X.JPG (95k)
    >
    >Secondly, is there a free talking browser I could download to test my
    >pages? Or one which simulates text to speech?


    There's a 30-day free trial of IBM's HPR:
    http://www-306.ibm.com/able/solution_offerings/hpr.html
    >
    >Thanks in advance for any advice.
    >

    The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works; however
    you can also use a CSS approach (if you want to) to hide the link from
    graphical browsers while making it available to asssistive technology
    (AT) devices:

    e.g

    ..hideit {
    height : 0;
    width : 0;
    overflow : hidden;
    position : absolute;
    }

    <a href="#content"><span class="hideit">Jump to main content</span></a>
    >



    regards.
    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 17, 2004
    #3
  4. On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 20:19:52 +0100, jake <>
    wrote:

    >In message <>, Sally Thompson
    ><> writes
    >>
    >>I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    >>website (only on the home page at present). I'd be very glad if
    >>someone could tell me if it works (URL in sig).

    >
    >Yes, it would work if "content" had been specified somewhere.
    >i.e <....... id="content" ........>
    >
    >See http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/ST1X.JPG (95k)


    Thanks Jake (and to David who made the same point). So if I add
    id="content" to my <div class="content"> to read <div class="content"
    id="content">, will that do it, or I have missed the plot somewhere?
    (I still have the L plates on.) Also, I looked at the link you gave,
    and I just wondered why the phrase "non-smoking" was highlighted?

    ..
    >>

    >The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works; however
    >you can also use a CSS approach (if you want to) to hide the link from
    >graphical browsers while making it available to asssistive technology
    >(AT) devices:
    >
    >e.g
    >
    >.hideit {
    > height : 0;
    > width : 0;
    > overflow : hidden;
    > position : absolute;
    > }
    >
    ><a href="#content"><span class="hideit">Jump to main content</span></a>


    I'll experiment with this. Thanks again to both of you.

    --
    Sally in Shropshire, UK
    bed and breakfast near Ludlow: http://www.stonybrook-ludlow.co.uk
    Reply To address is spam trap
     
    Sally Thompson, Jul 17, 2004
    #4
  5. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    Sally Thompson <> said:

    > I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    > website (only on the home page at present).


    you don't need to reinvent the wheel. assistive tech already has various
    ways for people to jump around pages. some people consider skip links
    condescending.

    > Secondly, is there a free talking browser I could download to test my
    > pages?


    if the below aren't free then they usually have a demo available.
    haven't checked the links for a while:

    sensus: http://www.sensus.dk/sib10uk.htm
    ReadPlease http://www.readplease.com/
    simply web 2000: http://www.econointl.com/sw/
    pwwebspeak: http://www.soundlinks.com/pwgen.htm
    web talkster: http://www.code-it.com/web_talkster.htm
    multiweb: http://www.deakin.edu.au/infosys/multiweb/mwIndex.htm
    outspoken (mac): http://www.aagi.com/downloads/download_demo.asp?25
    outloud: http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/software_connect.asp
    ibm home page reader: http://www-3.ibm.com/able/solution_offerings/hpr.html
    HPR download: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/sns/hpr/hpr3021trial_enu.exe
    windows eyes: http://www.gwmicro.com/products/
    super nova: http://www.dolphinuk.co.uk/products/supernova.htm
    hal: http://www.dolphinuk.co.uk/products/hal.htm


    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 17, 2004
    #5
  6. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    jake <> said:

    > The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works;


    you'd better let firewalls/proxies/filters know that so they stop
    filtering them out as webbugs.

    > however you can also use a CSS approach (if you want to) to hide the
    > link from graphical browsers while making it available to asssistive
    > technology (AT) devices:


    that technique can also (and does) hide the link from assistive tech.

    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 17, 2004
    #6
  7. jake wrote:
    > The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works


    What about Lynx users, people with image loading turned off, and people
    viewing your page offline without your images downloaded?
     
    Leif K-Brooks, Jul 18, 2004
    #7
  8. On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 08:00:00 +1000, brucie <>
    wrote:

    >in post: <news:>
    >Sally Thompson <> said:
    >
    >> I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    >> website (only on the home page at present).

    >
    >you don't need to reinvent the wheel. assistive tech already has various
    >ways for people to jump around pages. some people consider skip links
    >condescending.


    Food for thought there. I didn't know that.

    >> Secondly, is there a free talking browser I could download to test my
    >> pages?

    >
    >if the below aren't free then they usually have a demo available.
    >haven't checked the links for a while:


    <snip list>
    Thanks Brucie - that's great.


    --
    Sally in Shropshire, UK
    bed and breakfast near Ludlow: http://www.stonybrook-ludlow.co.uk
    Reply To address is spam trap
     
    Sally Thompson, Jul 18, 2004
    #8
  9. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    Sally Thompson <> said:

    >>you don't need to reinvent the wheel. assistive tech already has various
    >>ways for people to jump around pages. some people consider skip links
    >>condescending.


    > Food for thought there. I didn't know that.


    semantically markup your pages and be careful of link and alt text and
    you're 99% there. skip links are just a gimmick to make you feel all
    warm and fuzzy helping out the poor disabled people. gowd knows how they
    managed before skip links became trendy.

    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 18, 2004
    #9
  10. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Leif K-Brooks
    <> writes
    >jake wrote:
    >> The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works

    >
    >What about Lynx users, people with image loading turned off, and people
    >viewing your page offline without your images downloaded?


    You might want to re-read the context of this thread (hint:
    'accessibility').

    Putting alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif has been used since time
    immemorial for providing a method of supplying 'assisting' text that AT
    UAs can output (e.g. through a speech synthesizer) but that remains
    invisible to graphical browsers.

    A number of sites will make the 'skip to content', 'skip navigation' or
    whatever text visible on the page -- but a lot of designers don't like
    their pages being cluttered with such things ;-)

    regards.

    ps. If I've misunderstood your comment, please let me know.

    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #10
  11. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, brucie
    <> writes
    >in post: <news:>
    >jake <> said:
    >
    >> The 'alternative text on a 1-pixel .gif' approach always works;

    >
    >you'd better let firewalls/proxies/filters know that so they stop
    >filtering them out as webbugs.


    If you know this to be a fact, you might want to contact the suppliers
    about this important software bug in their systems.

    The fact(?) that these devices could drop a 40+ byte file (because that
    what a 1-pixel .gif is) should be something they need to work on
    urgently.

    >
    >> however you can also use a CSS approach (if you want to) to hide the
    >> link from graphical browsers while making it available to asssistive
    >> technology (AT) devices:

    >
    >that technique can also (and does) hide the link from assistive tech.


    What AT UA have you tested this with and found it not to work in? Just
    curious.

    >


    regards.

    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #11
  12. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Sally Thompson
    <> writes
    >On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 08:00:00 +1000, brucie <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>in post: <news:>
    >>Sally Thompson <> said:
    >>
    >>> I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    >>> website (only on the home page at present).

    >>
    >>you don't need to reinvent the wheel. assistive tech already has various
    >>ways for people to jump around pages. some people consider skip links
    >>condescending.

    >
    >Food for thought there. I didn't know that.
    >

    [snip]

    Just take a look at any UK government site and see what they do. (Hint:
    very similar to what you're doing -- including using a 1-pixel .gif link
    in many cases ;-)

    regards.
    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #12
  13. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    jake <> said:

    >>you'd better let firewalls/proxies/filters know that so they stop
    >>filtering them out as webbugs.


    > If you know this to be a fact, you might want to contact the suppliers
    > about this important software bug in their systems.


    filtering out webbugs is not a bug

    > The fact(?)


    yes fact, zonealarm is one example.

    > that these devices could drop a 40+ byte file (because that
    > what a 1-pixel .gif is) should be something they need to work on
    > urgently.


    its an excellent feature. you just don't like it because it upsets your
    preconceived notions.

    >>that technique can also (and does) hide the link from assistive tech.


    > What AT UA have you tested this with and found it not to work in? Just
    > curious.


    HPR, outloud and jaws depending on version. 5+ is ok but previous
    version screwed up and remember people who need the tech are more likely
    to be on low incomes (e.g. pensions) so upgrading is an issue.


    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 18, 2004
    #13
  14. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <1c6lyyil2dse1$>, brucie
    <> writes
    >in post: <news:>
    >Sally Thompson <> said:
    >
    >>>you don't need to reinvent the wheel. assistive tech already has various
    >>>ways for people to jump around pages. some people consider skip links
    >>>condescending.

    >
    >> Food for thought there. I didn't know that.

    >
    >semantically markup your pages and be careful of link and alt text and
    >you're 99% there. skip links are just a gimmick to make you feel all
    >warm and fuzzy helping out the poor disabled people. gowd knows how they
    >managed before skip links became trendy.
    >

    I am at a loss to understand this "let's make it harder for the
    visually-impaired, learning-impaired folk, etc. to get around" attitude.

    Can they get around menus in other ways? Yes, sure.

    As easily? No.

    To quote the RNIB : ".... Hidden navigation can make a site a lot easier
    to navigate for people using screen readers ...."


    regards.

    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #14
  15. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Sally Thompson
    <> writes
    >On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 20:19:52 +0100, jake <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>In message <>, Sally Thompson
    >><> writes
    >>>
    >>>I've been experiment with putting a "skip navigation" link on my
    >>>website (only on the home page at present). I'd be very glad if
    >>>someone could tell me if it works (URL in sig).

    >>
    >>Yes, it would work if "content" had been specified somewhere.
    >>i.e <....... id="content" ........>
    >>
    >>See http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/ST1X.JPG (95k)

    >
    >Thanks Jake (and to David who made the same point). So if I add
    >id="content" to my <div class="content"> to read <div class="content"
    >id="content">, will that do it, or I have missed the plot somewhere?


    I've just tested your page. Works fine.


    [snip]

    regards.
    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #15
  16. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    jake <> said:

    >>semantically markup your pages and be careful of link and alt text and
    >>you're 99% there. skip links are just a gimmick to make you feel all
    >>warm and fuzzy helping out the poor disabled people. gowd knows how they
    >>managed before skip links became trendy.


    > I am at a loss to understand this "let's make it harder for the
    > visually-impaired, learning-impaired folk, etc. to get around" attitude.


    stop assuming people with visual problem are stupid, believe it or not
    they don't need their hand held to get around a page and have been doing
    it for the last 10 years without any help from anyone.

    > Can they get around menus in other ways? Yes, sure.
    > As easily? No.


    yes and much easier. for example jumping from <hx> to <hx> or <p> to <p>
    or <a> or <ul> or <li> etc etc etc and the visitor will continue to know
    where they are on the page whereas a skip link could take them anywhere
    on the page and get them lost.

    assuming the visitor is completely blind which is unlikely. few people
    are.

    > To quote the RNIB : ".... Hidden navigation can make a site a lot easier
    > to navigate for people using screen readers ...."


    there are various guidelines that hinder accessibility, not improve it.
    while skip links are easily ignored so don't actually hinder
    accessibility they are over engineering to fix a problem that doesn't
    exists.

    designing a site to comply with accessibility legislation and designing
    a site to be accessible will result in two different sites.

    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 18, 2004
    #16
  17. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <>, brucie
    <> writes
    >in post: <news:>
    >jake <> said:
    >
    >>>you'd better let firewalls/proxies/filters know that so they stop
    >>>filtering them out as webbugs.

    >
    >> If you know this to be a fact, you might want to contact the suppliers
    >> about this important software bug in their systems.

    >
    >filtering out webbugs is not a bug


    filtering out a valid file-type would be.
    >
    >> The fact(?)

    >
    >yes fact, zonealarm is one example.
    >
    >> that these devices could drop a 40+ byte file (because that
    >> what a 1-pixel .gif is) should be something they need to work on
    >> urgently.

    >
    >its an excellent feature. you just don't like it because it upsets your
    >preconceived notions.


    If true, it's a bug.

    Seems like the UK government is not aware of this (nor the National
    Institute for the Blind). Should they be informed? (along with the local
    authorities and universities and ........)

    If this was a real problem, it would have been recognised and dealt with
    a long time ago.

    >
    >>>that technique can also (and does) hide the link from assistive tech.

    >
    >> What AT UA have you tested this with and found it not to work in? Just
    >> curious.

    >
    >HPR, outloud and jaws depending on version. 5+ is ok but previous
    >version screwed up and remember people who need the tech are more likely
    >to be on low incomes (e.g. pensions) so upgrading is an issue.
    >

    Works just fine in my version of HPR.
    >

    Still, you have a point - but I guess that's akin to the on-going saga
    of sighted users viewing pages using older browsers with buggy CSS
    support.

    (Of course, if it's invisible to older readers, then they simply won't
    be aware that it exists and so will carry on in the way they have always
    carried on)

    What's your suggestion for getting 'invisible' assistive text into a Web
    page?

    I guess we're coming back to the 1-pixel .gif approach .......... the
    'Swiss Army Knife' for accessible pages;-)

    regards.
    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #17
  18. Sally Thompson

    jake Guest

    In message <q9wgzo4q0okx$>, brucie
    <> writes
    >in post: <news:>
    >jake <> said:
    >
    >>>semantically markup your pages and be careful of link and alt text and
    >>>you're 99% there. skip links are just a gimmick to make you feel all
    >>>warm and fuzzy helping out the poor disabled people. gowd knows how they
    >>>managed before skip links became trendy.

    >
    >> I am at a loss to understand this "let's make it harder for the
    >> visually-impaired, learning-impaired folk, etc. to get around" attitude.

    >
    >stop assuming people with visual problem are stupid, believe it or not
    >they don't need their hand held to get around a page and have been doing
    >it for the last 10 years without any help from anyone.


    Ah, the old "stop assuming people with visual problems are stupid"
    response. Now how many times have I seen that one in lieu of a valid
    argument?

    I'm afraid that studies by the great and the good in this world show
    just the opposite. Why do you think it's a recommended approach by
    national blind institutions, an approach used by governments, etc. --
    because they woke up one morning and thought to themselves "this is a
    good idea"? I don't think so.

    >
    >> Can they get around menus in other ways? Yes, sure.
    >> As easily? No.

    >
    >yes and much easier. for example jumping from <hx> to <hx> or <p> to <p>
    >or <a> or <ul> or <li> etc etc etc and the visitor will continue to know
    >where they are on the page whereas a skip link could take them anywhere
    >on the page and get them lost.
    >
    >assuming the visitor is completely blind which is unlikely. few people
    >are.


    Why put them through hoops?

    On entering a page with suitable assistive text the first thing they
    hear (in a links voice) is 'bypass navigation', 'go to main content', or
    whatever. They hit *one* button and the reader immediately starts
    reading from the 'main content'. Yes, *one button* (with a suitable AT
    UA)

    What's easier that that?

    >
    >> To quote the RNIB : ".... Hidden navigation can make a site a lot easier
    >> to navigate for people using screen readers ...."

    >
    >there are various guidelines that hinder accessibility, not improve it.


    For example?

    >while skip links are easily ignored so don't actually hinder
    >accessibility they are over engineering to fix a problem that doesn't
    >exists.
    >
    >designing a site to comply with accessibility legislation and designing
    >a site to be accessible will result in two different sites.
    >

    Sorry, but I just can't follow your reasoning.

    Anyway, we're obviously not going to agree on this.

    regards.


    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Jul 18, 2004
    #18
  19. Sally Thompson

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:>
    jake <> said:

    > Ah, the old "stop assuming people with visual problems are stupid"
    > response. Now how many times have I seen that one in lieu of a valid
    > argument?


    its a very valid argument, you see it all the time especially in
    conjunction with people talking louder to VI people.

    > Anyway, we're obviously not going to agree on this.


    no we're not.

    --
    b r u c i e
     
    brucie, Jul 18, 2004
    #19
  20. On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 11:06:30 +0100, jake <>
    wrote:

    >In message <>, Sally Thompson
    ><> writes
    >>On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 20:19:52 +0100, jake <>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>In message <>, Sally Thompson
    >>><> writes


    <snip>
    >>Thanks Jake (and to David who made the same point). So if I add
    >>id="content" to my <div class="content"> to read <div class="content"
    >>id="content">, will that do it, or I have missed the plot somewhere?

    >
    >I've just tested your page. Works fine.


    Thanks very much Jake - good to know. Phew!

    --
    Sally in Shropshire, UK
    bed and breakfast near Ludlow: http://www.stonybrook-ludlow.co.uk
    Reply To address is spam trap
     
    Sally Thompson, Jul 18, 2004
    #20
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