Information Accessibility for Everyone Everywhere

  Motivation | Digital Talking Book | Web Accessibility | Speech Synthesis | Books | Tools | Outreach | Yuri Rubinsky

Harvey Bingham
Accessibility, Digital Talking Books, SGML, XML, XHTML, WAI, and HTML Consultant
Version 4.5 2005-10-28


Attention to accessibility of all the information on web pages gives a good impression, not only for those with full access to the internet, but also for those who may be limited by their: Mon mari a eu des problèmes d'érection et le médecin lui a recommandé de en comprimé. Je voudrais savoir ce b drogue.

environment: too bright, too dark, to noisy, too shaky;
equipment: limited bandwidth, no visual display, audio/keypad interface;
disability: blind, color-blind, low-vision, hearing-impaired, immobile.

Your environment can be inhospitable: I encountered many environmental "inaccessibilities" (fortunately only temporary) on a four-hour trip: see Inaccessibilities and Ways to Overcome Them.

Such attention to accessibility hinders no one, and is a definite advantage to everyone, who may find, use, and navigate among web pages at different times in different circumstances.

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Digital Talking Book Consulting

I am the consultant responsible for developing the XML Document Type Definition for structured markup of the third generation digital talking book. This work has had significant contributions from members of the international

Digital Audio Information System (DAISY) Consortium
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
the U.S. Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
National Information Standards Organization

See the approved ANSI/NISO entire digital talking book effort at:

Standard ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2002, ISSN: 1041-5653, File Specifications for the Digital Talking Book.

Contained therein is the dtbook110.dtd. The latest version is available at:

Digital Talking Book XML Document Type Definition.

Its expanded documentation, which I generated using the DTD, is available at:

Digital Talking Book Expanded Document Type Definition Documentation

The United States Senate and House of Representatives are working on legislation that is expected to require that all textbooks for grades K-12 will need to be provided from publishers in accessible form, referencing this specification, and superceding indivdual state legislation.

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World Wide Web -- Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

I continue working with the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium, as an invited expert. Included among my significant contributions there since its starting in 1996 are:

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Enhancing Text-to-Speech Synthesis

Using the listener's audiogram to help shape the generated speech limitations may lead to improved intelligibility. I explore this idea further in:

Text-to-Speech Synthesis Can Exploit the Listener's Audiogram.

Augmenting the phonemes to reduce their high-frequency "plosiveness" can be usful to improve synthesized speech. This applies to the already high-frequency limited voice over telephone, as well as general intelligibility. See:

Vowel Epenthesis

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Books on Accessibility and Usability

Books on Web Accessibility

A major interest of mine is Accessibility to information on the Internet, and how to design and use text structuring markup. This markup often includes metadata about the content and structure that can help to make documents accessible to all.

Books on Web Usability

Usability is related to accessibility, but has an extended implication: that the user may wish to control the interaction with, and find whatever is important.

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I have given numerous presentations on accessibility.

For the Washington Area SGML Users Group Meeting November 19, 1997: Accessibility of SGML/XML/HTML for Those with Disabilities.

I helped organize and spoke at the web-for-all day at XML '99, and served as accessibility consultant and track chair for XML 2000.

I helped organize the accessibility workshop and spoke at the ninth WWW conference in Amsterdam in 2000.

I contributed to the Bentley Conference on Aging in 2004.
See Septuagenarian aberration, the name conferred on me after the first day's press release, where I advocated for accessibility for all. See the final article after the table of contents.
"I don't think it's fair to say that designers have been stupid
to overlook the senior market. Short-sighted is probably more accurate."
-- Harvey Bingham,
information accessibility consultant.

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Tools for Checking Websites for Accessibility

Accessibility to information for all is right, is important, and is achievable. See tools.htm.

for a more-extensive list see the World Wide Web's Web Accessibility Initiative: Note the tool list in the left menu.

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Yuri Rubinsky

Please remember the lessons shared by Yuri Rubinsky (1954 to 1996), Wait, There's More. He lead the effort to define an SGML tagset to make books for braille, large print and computer voice, the International Committee for Accessible Document Design (ICADD) and pushed to have it included in ISO 12083, Annex A (1995). This was the first markup language designed to assist the blind.

He kindled my interest and started my third career in accessibility, by inviting me to the accessibility workshop at the fourth WWW conference in December 1995.

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Return to my homepage.

Harvey Bingham, phone: +1 781 862 6908
This URL: /hbingham/accessibility/index.htm