14 April 2017

Dear Author,

We have been preparing your webtext, “Learning Spaces for Sustainable Futures: Encounters between design and rhetoric in shaping nomadic pedagogy,” for publication on TechnoRhetoric.net. We have copyedited the text and have a few remaining questions, which are listed below. You can also find a temporary version of your webtext at this URL: http://technorhetoric.net/~keditors/working-files/22.1/snaddon_et_al-2/index.php. In this temporary version, we have marked in BOLD CAPS the in-text locations that correspond to the queries below. (Please do NOT use this URL to proofread your piece — we’ll supply an updated one in a few weeks for you to use.) In order to proceed with an on-time publication, we ask that you Reply All to this email, embedding your answers below each question, by Monday, April 17, 2017.

Broader Queries:

  • No access to burgerbar and other navigation tools when zoomed into text.
  • Images are not mapped on all pages.
  • Using Screenify, the webpage is not viewable in any mobile platform.
  • Burgerbar and other navigation tools should follow when scrolling.
  • Do we want the key (for Discussion and Reflection symbols) closer to where they appear on the webpage (e.g., at the bottom of the page with the images)?
  • Do we want the “Reflections” to be available between each section/image at the bottom of the screen? They only apply to each section (they do not seem to tie the sections together, as the symbols would suggest). Maybe they should be similar to the “Discussion” symbols, which are only attached to a specific image.
  • The scrolling is specific to either the page at large or the HTML text. This could deter some users from seeing the navigation infographic at the bottom of the page.
  • Stylesheets are linked and not embedded.
  • The home page isn’t labeled “index.html,” but “index.php,” while all other pages end with “.html.”

Page-Level Queries:

  • ABSTRACT:
    • The page’s header (in the Chrome tab) only says “Bruce Snaddon,” even though there are three authors listed in the “Abstract” page.
  • OPENINGS:
    • The ten videos on this page do not include an options for viewing the transcript or closed captions. Can we create an option for this accessibility?
  • APPROACHES:
    • The sections within this page are not available in the navigation bar, as they are with other sections (“Openings” and “Contexts”).
  • METHODOLOGIES:
    • The sections within this page are not available in the navigation bar, as they are with other sections (“Openings” and “Contexts”).
  • CONTEXTS:
    • The “Contexts” navigation automatically navigates to the “Cape Town” page, even though there are three other sections within the “Contexts” page.
    • Each section on this page includes videos without transcripts or closed captioning, as well as images that do not appear.
      • Some of the videos have descriptions for them covering the titles, organizations/groups responsible for the videos, filmmakers, running times, and production years, while other videos have a brief description of what’s going on in the video. Maybe we should update this for consistency.
    • The section “Noodoewer” is titled differently from the other three sections (it says, “Place: Noordoewer,” while none of the others use the word “Place”).
  • CLOSINGS:
    • The sections within this page are not available in the navigation bar, as they are with other sections (“Openings” and “Contexts”).
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
    • Do we want the “Acknowledgements” section to include links to the organizations listed?
    • We may want to spell out all of the acronyms/initialisms used so that all readers understand what these organizations are and what they do.
  • REFERENCES:
    • Why do so few of these resources have links to their websites/sources? We might want to include one for every resource for consistency and accessibility.

 

Thank you,

CO402 Editors (Group 1):

Baleigh Greene

Manton Chambers

Rachel Nelligan

Paul Trujillo

Reflection:

Throughout the process of searching the web page “Learning Spaces for Sustainable Futures” for accessibility, our group has been discussing and considering the concept of user-friendliness for all people. It is very easy to believe that simply using a platform (e.g., WordPress) or design process (e.g., HTML) to create a website and publishing it online would make it accessible, viewable, usable, and interactive for anyone searching the web. However, this belief stems from an ableist paradigm. We found several factors within this web page that would seem, to the untrained (or able) eye, interactive and simple to use, such as Vimeo videos and a key for symbols on the page. However, when we took on different roles and considered different levels of ability, we realized that these factors could make or break an individual’s experience with, and reception of, a website. For example, the videos on the page did not include an option for closed captioning or transcripts, which could make them completely inaccessible for hearing-impaired people.

In addition, user-friendliness can affect the reception of a web page for anyone, including the most able and media-literate people. While creating this Concept Expansion, our group learned that the content — no matter how interesting, engaging, entertaining, or profound — does not matter when the platform is not user-friendly and easy to navigate. Users are turned off by sites that contain broken links, images that do not appear (like this web page), or menus that are not available on every page.

Lastly, this exercise highlights the metaphorical dilemma of “retrofit” as presented by Dolmage. For example, to correct the videos lack of closed captions raises the concern “that disability is supplemental to society, that it is an after-thought” (Dolmage 12). While of course limiting the hearing impaired was most likely not intended by the authors, it bares resemblance to Dolmage’s claim, “to often we react to diversity instead of planning for it” (12). Part of CE4 was certainly a reaction for the need of a retrofit. This concern raises a valuable lesson to keep accessibility as a necessity in the designing phase, rather than an afterthought or retrofit. These have been enlightening concepts to consider throughout this project, and we will be using them when we create our own web pages for our next project.

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