Browse Prior Art Database

Accessible HTML documents

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015599D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jul-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

It is not always easy for blind or visually-impaired people to read HTML pages. For example, they are likely to have difficulty with images, diagrams presented as images, diagrams presented using character graphics, and graphical data.

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Accessible HTML documents

It is not always easy for blind or visually-impaired people to read HTML pages. For example, they are likely to have difficulty with images, diagrams presented as images, diagrams presented using character graphics, and graphical data.

     For images that appear on HTML pages, alternate text can be provided and this can be read by a screen-reader. Unfortunately the text is limited to a simple text string with no embedded tagging. This makes it difficult to describe a complex diagram. Graphical data would be more easily comprehended if the alternative presentation were tabular.

     Rather than using the limited facilities provided by the alternate text associated with an image, this disclosure describes how completely different presentation formats can be used under the control of the user. Moreover the disclosure permits the choice of multiple alternative formats.

     In our method, the user first selects the presentation format that he or she prefers. As the examples below indicate, several choices may be possible, one for each class of objects for which alternatives are provided. These choices are somewhat like the preferences that can be set for the browser, but whereas the browser preferences control relatively small details of the presentation, such as the font size, our preferences affect the whole style of the presentation.

     When an item is to be displayed that is affected by the user's presentation format preferences, instead of simply displaying the standard format, a JavaScript* switch statement is used to choose between the available formats depending on the setting of a variable that contains the user's preference. The preferred format is then included in the HTML document. Should the user wish to view the object in a different format there are two possibilities:

If the preferences page is designed to be displayed in the same frame as the main document, to return to the preferences page, a different format is selected and the user is returned to the document whereupon the newly selected format will be displayed.

In a more typical implementation, the browser window would be divided vert...