Sao Mai Education Fund
Notes on these pages
These pages were created to study and develop ideas in order to start a web training program for a group of tutors and students of Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind,HCM, Vietnam.
I used different tools to develop the pages as I was looking for an alternative to writing HTML code. I needed to experiment a lot of different ways to put information online, such as editing, converting text from existing web pages, organizing information in table format, and I wanted to find the most appropriate tools for the blind to do this by themselves.
A few months later I had a collection of linked documents (and pictures), generated in different ways and all different in style.
This did not cause any trouble to the blind who had been checking the pages on line, as the screen reader and/or the Braille Display output is not effected by background colors or page layout. As long as the text was accessible to the devices used by the blind all the rest would not matter. The screen reader converts the web page to a different reading format than the one seen on the screen by a sighted reader and provides tools (such as alphabetical lists of links, or reading without punctuation) that are peculiar to the reading strategies of a blind computer user. The sighted reader can not do anything to a web page while the blind can manipulate it and access it in different ways.
When I felt I had the information I needed to start the program, I realized that I had a number of pages already online, that they were all accessible but in a mess of styles and formats.
I did not want to create a new, good looking website for them, so one day in HCM City, at the Sao Mai Computer Center for the Blind, stuck there by a never lasting monsoon rain, I converted all the pages to the format and page specifications that had not received complaints by the blind friends who had checked them for me.
The model page is still there in its folder, dated 19 July 2003. I was 56 on that day.
Prof. Amedeo Pignatelli
04 February, 2004
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