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Calling all Authors - Asking for YOUR help with our blind visitors to Experts Exchange Article resources

Hi Everyone,

Recently, one of my articles caught the eye of a chap who works with the blind - both teaching and helping them.

He sent me some great feedback and requested if I could re-edit the article he was interested in so as to make it more palatable for blind readers, as he intends to refer the article to individuals suffering from blindness when they need help with the topic I covered.

This got me thinking about all article submissions to Experts Exchange and how, with minimal effort on your part, published articles could be made available and readable to everyone, including the sight impaired and our totally blind visitors looking for tips and a good read.

To that end, I've written a short and easy to follow tutorial on what's required here:

How to improve your articles for individuals with blindness or visual impairment

It's not a requirement for your submission to still be published of course, however, if you could take a quick look at the above Tutorial and consider using the very easy tips I've provided, it will broaden the readership of your future published works, and both I and the blind community around the world will most certainly be grateful for your efforts. Please consider.

Many thanks

Andrew Leniart
Experts Exchange Senior Editor
Private Message Me

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Rank: Genius

Author Comment

Andrew Leniart2019-01-23 08:17 AMID: 2452426
Hi serialband, the addition of alternate text does nothing to change the look of articles published at Experts Exchange and I've been assured that including that information is very helpful to the blind, so not sure of the point you're making there?
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Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

serialband2019-01-23 09:07 AMID: 2452435
The alternate text is definitely helpful to the blind.  I'm just pointing out that the web site itself doesn't conform to the American Disabilities Act.
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Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Owen Rubin2019-01-23 09:48 AMID: 2452449
Andrew, this is very cool.

I worked for Berkeley System a long while back, and in addition to Screen Savers they had a large group doing software for the blind.  And I got a chance to try their screen readers and was amazed at how fast they run, but also how bad some documents could be. Images with no alt-text or caption just say "image" for example. And if you insert rich media, you need to add references for the blind in both the document, and the video, including alternate audio tracks that describe what is happening in the video if you want to be truly compliant.

But Andrew,  you also need to be aware of the colors that are used, as color blind people have problems with website and documents as well. A red/green color blind person often sees both those colors as the same shade of gray. Google maps for a long time used the same intensity colors for drawing the path on the map, so many color blind people would not see the path drawn. I would like to suggest you add a paragraph or two to your document on use of colors in graphics, charts, etc.



Glad to see this is being considered here.
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Rank: Genius

Author Comment

Andrew Leniart2019-01-23 01:01 PMID: 2452482
Thank you for your feedback Owen, and also for the heads up with regards to colours for colour blind people as that too was something I was personally unaware of as it's never been brought to my attention.

That said though, providing that colours are being used mainly for presentation, and not in any explanatory way, then I would hope that such readers would still be able to get the information being presented? Can you confirm that? Or point me to a resource where I could research that topic more?

I am all for helping improve the reading experience of any visitor to Experts Exchange, particularly where only such small and easily implemented efforts can lead to that end.

My thanks also to those of you who have PM'd me asking if you should rework past published works. The answer is, of course, yes. Anyone willing to put in the effort to re-edit work already published can rest assured that the Experts Exchange editing team members will be more than happy to republish any reworked articles promptly.

Thanks, Andrew
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Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Owen Rubin2019-01-23 02:03 PMID: 2452499
I would agree, but I have a color blind friend and I am always amazed at what he sees differently. The Google maps thing for one. And he says that pie charts or graphs need to use non-complementary colors, specifically red & green, or blue & yellow when displaying. I was with him when an Excel Pie Chart was displayed, and he asked with the big area that took up almost 50% was representing. Everyone else at the table said "what big area?" Well, there was a light red color next to a light green color, and to him, it was just one big area with the same shade of gray.

So if I was going to add anything to your document, I would suggest that complimentary colors are not used at the same time IF something needs t be highlighted with the color. And if red, green, yellow, or blue are used, then one needs to be sure that the luminosity of the colors are different.

Thanks, and I really appreciate you putting up that document.
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Rank: Genius

Author Comment

Andrew Leniart2019-01-23 02:08 PMID: 2452501
Thanks for the additional info Owen, I'll take your comments on board.

And a BIG thank you to the authors who have already gone to the effort of modifying their work with Alt-Text inclusions. I just checked and all have already been republished within an hour or less of being resubmitted.

We very much appreciate everyone's support in this area.

Regards,

Andrew Leniart
Experts Exchange Senior Editor
Private Message Me
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