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How does validation actually help people with disablities?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Weirfire, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. #1
    Many articles written about web page validation are going along the lines of saying it can help people with disabilities to view the sites.
    SEMrush
    How does it actually help them?

    I worked in a training facility for people with disabilities for 4 months in their IT suite and not once did any of them make more use of a web site that was validated than one that wasn't.
     
    Weirfire, Jun 3, 2004 IP
    SEMrush
  2. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #2
    Hmmm... never heard that one before, but then again I don't read articles about validation. Seems strange to me though.
     
    digitalpoint, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  3. Weirfire

    Weirfire Language Translation Company

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    #3
    Hmmm.... perhaps they have made software that tells blind people what a website says?

    I never had any blind people at the training place.


    Are you Shaun by the way?
     
    Weirfire, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  4. dazzlindonna

    dazzlindonna Peon

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    #4
    I'm no expert on validation, but I believe that there are certain types of devices that many disabled folk use that benefit from well-formed html. So for example, if a blind person has a gizmo hooked up that reads the text aloud to him, then it would be helpful if the gizmo didn't get tripped up over funky html. Ok, that's my semi-educated guess, based on vague memories of things I've read in the past.
     
    dazzlindonna, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #5
    Close... Shawn. :)
     
    digitalpoint, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  6. Weirfire

    Weirfire Language Translation Company

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    #6
    I was going to use the fact that 80% of websites are not validated to sell my web designing skills to businesses. Statistics indicate that 1 in 7 of the UK's population have some form of disability which is a whopping 8 million.

    Well... what do the businesses know anyways. ;)
     
    Weirfire, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  7. john_loch

    john_loch Rodent Slayer

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    #7
    Basically what DD said. You'll find a number of universities watch compliance closely to ensure learning environments remain unbiased (ie disabled users have equal access to data).

    A while ago I saw this technology in action (ie page/meta-readers for blind folk). The presentation was given by a blind IT specialist. I've got to say, it was the most impressive thing I've ever heard. These readers spit audio translations at around ten times the frequency we're used to for the spoken word. I couldn't understand a byte of it. He on the other hand, was digesting every last bit of it.

    It really was very impressive. Anyhow, the more compliant a page is, the more readily deconstructed it is for automatic tag generation (software that basically analyses the content and adds the necessary metas/tags etc).

    Hope that helps :)
     
    john_loch, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  8. Owlcroft

    Owlcroft Peon

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    #8
    You can never go wrong having pages that are 100% compliant. Whether you will go wrong with non-compliant pages can be debated--though I reckon that the discussions above, which I believe are quite accurate about special interpreting systems, show that there are clear possibilities--but whyever take any risks? Suppose it's a searchbot that trips over the defective HTML that your browser kindly ignores?

    Validation is good practice for several reasons, another being that it more or less obliges you to have clean code, and fixing defects more or less obliges you to have readily readable code, another long-term plus.

    And you get to display that nifty logo! I like to use the logo as a click-on link to the w3c validator, feeding the actual URL as a parm, so visitors can be told "Check us--click on the image", which is, however mildly, impressive to some (especially if they do click)

    Moreover, little by little we are slip-sliding toward a world in which XHTML and XML will dominate, and they will not tolerate sloppy code. So we might as well begin adapting and adopting now.
     
    Owlcroft, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  9. disgust

    disgust Guest

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    #9
    I've never heard that validation has anything to do with disabilities.

    alt text would obviously have advantages though.
     
    disgust, Jun 3, 2004 IP
  10. Weirfire

    Weirfire Language Translation Company

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    #10
    Thanks for that.

    I also heard that sometime in the future they may be enforcing code to be validated on certain web sites. Don't know how they will go about doing this. Suppose it's just like what you said about the universities giving each student equal rights by making their web sites readable to all.
     
    Weirfire, Jun 4, 2004 IP
  11. payoutwindow

    payoutwindow Peon

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    #11
    here is a free test site http://www.adpartners.co.uk/website_test_station_aaa.htm .. test #4 is accessibility of webpages for the disabled.

    and as digust stated alt text for images is number 1 priority.

    It might help to do whatever u can to improve your sites accessibilty and i am sure it can not harm the SERP ... hhhhmmmm ... i'm wonder how much of a factor it is with search engines.
     
    payoutwindow, Jun 4, 2004 IP
  12. misohoni

    misohoni Notable Member

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    #12
    I used to design websites for Government and making sites that could run through screenreaders was one of the most important parts of the job.

    I think it depends upon the screenreader setup. Many screenreaders can read out alt-text or just miss images completely. Same goes for TH tags and summary labels in tables.

    Does it really work? Perhaps those who look at sites with screenreaders should make their comments known?
     
    misohoni, Jun 4, 2004 IP
  13. Lever

    Lever Deep Thought

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    #13
    After 5 years of "oblivious to standards" HTML coding I got into writing valid HTML in June 2003 when a friend starting preaching to me about the virtues of his compliant code skills. I checked one of my main sites against his then latest launch and found I only had 47 errors against his 184. LOL No ALT tags and liberal use of FONT tags...

    It is interesting to use the Firefox browser's developer toolbar (http://texturizer.net/firefox/extensions/#webdeveloper) or a Lynx browser emulator (http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html) to see how your ALT tags appear and do they actually make sense or add to the experience...?
     
    Lever, Jun 5, 2004 IP
  14. Owlcroft

    Owlcroft Peon

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    #14
    I think the next tool I may work on, once I get to the 1.0 release of the Freebie package, will be a site validator: something to list all the actual pages on your site, submit them one by one to the w3c validator, and report back via a web page which ones failed. (I do that now for my own sites, so it shouldn't be too hard to generalize).

    Just feed it your site name and wait for the report. Is that something people would find useful?
     
    Owlcroft, Jun 5, 2004 IP
  15. Lever

    Lever Deep Thought

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    #15
    I think that would be a useful tool, though I see it possibly being more practical for small sites, or ones that were written with valid HTML in mind in the first place.

    My logic behind this thinking is that I know my site has approximately 900 pages and an estimated 30 errors per page - that alone would generate a HUGE error report.

    The way to fix this would be for me to redevelop the site with some shiny new clean code (that's on the cards for this year) though there would still be errors generated by the code in the ad banners.

    Nevertheless, it would be a good test of the validation system's capapbilities to see if it could handle my 27,000 or so error returns...
     
    Lever, Jun 5, 2004 IP