sketch of Cory Doctorow

Instead of lorum ipsum

When I was just coming up with the first formats for the Ice Owls, a team of blind and low vision hockey players, I used dummy text — Lorum Ipsum — in the mock ups. The client was using a screen reader to check the site, and when he got to

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh.”

he (very reasonably) said, “What the heck was that?!” and I decided to replace the dummy text with real text. Here is Cory Doctorow’s book “Makers” used as lorum ipsum.

Cory Doctorow makes his writing available for download. Files are available in various formats, including HTML. It sounds better than lorum ipsum to a screen reader, and it’s good reading, too!

Cory Doctorow thinks an accessible mock-up is a cool place to find himself


A few paragraphs of “Little Brother” to use as dummy text

<p>
I&rsquo;m a senior at Cesar Chavez high in San Francisco&rsquo;s sunny Mission district, and that makes me one of the most surveilled people in the world. My name is Marcus Yallow, but back when this story starts, I was going by w1n5t0n. Pronounced &ldquo;Winston.&rdquo;
</p><p>
Not pronounced &ldquo;Double-you-one-enn-five-tee-zero-enn&rdquo; -- unless you&rsquo;re a clueless disciplinary officer who&rsquo;s far enough behind the curve that you still call the Internet &ldquo;the information superhighway.&rdquo;
</p><p>
I know just such a clueless person, and his name is Fred Benson, one of three vice-principals at Cesar Chavez. He&rsquo;s a sucking chest wound of a human being. But if you&rsquo;re going to have a jailer, better a clueless one than one who&rsquo;s really on the ball.
</p><p>
&ldquo;Marcus Yallow,&rdquo; he said over the PA one Friday morning. The PA isn&rsquo;t very good to begin with, and when you combine that with Benson&rsquo;s habitual mumble, you get something that sounds more like someone struggling to digest a bad burrito than a school announcement. But human beings are good at picking their names out of audio confusion -- it&rsquo;s a survival trait.
</p><p>
I grabbed my bag and folded my laptop three-quarters shut -- I didn&rsquo;t want to blow my downloads -- and got ready for the inevitable.
</p><p>
&ldquo;Report to the administration office immediately.&rdquo;
</p>