We introduce a new approach towards a more accessible Web by means of more accessible knowledge acquisition mechanisms. Our strategy is to detect the Web designer's needs for knowledge that can be collected from minorities of Web users, and subsequently to design mechanisms that allow the proper elicitation of such knowledge from Web users. We discuss how this scenario places marginal Web users in a privileged position that appeals for their inclusion. Additionally, we illustrate how this approach might help build a more accessible Web, to the benefit of visually-impaired knowledge contributors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of users with disabilities use assistive technology devices to browse the web. However, the use of assistive technologies can only be successful when the web sites are developed in such a way that they are compatible with such devices. Guidelines exist for creating accessible web sites. However, they are seldom followed, and current levels of web accessibility are low. Therefore, the question arises as to which is the major cause of inaccessibility, and how accessibility features of web sites evolve over time. A set of 50 web sites has been studied over time to determine if accessibility improves or declines. This research-in-progress paper presents a comparison of the results obtained in 2002 and 2003. Such a comparison leads to the conclusion that, in the time period of 1 year, the 50 web sites have actually become more inaccessible. Implications for developers, webmasters, and educators are also discussed in the paper.
Universal Access in the Information Society 05/2006; 4(4):285-291. DOI:10.1007/s10209-003-0087-1 · 0.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, a random sample of websites from 1997-2002 were retrospectively analyzed for effects that technology has on accessibility for persons with disabilities and compared to government websites. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's HSD were used to determine differences among years. Random websites become progressively inaccessible through the years (p<0.0001) [as shown by increasing Web Accessibility Barrier (WAB) scores], while complexity of the websites increased through the years (p<0.0001). Pear son's correlation (r) was performed to correlate accessibility and complexity: r=0.463 (p<0.01). Government websites remain accessible while increasing in complexity: r=0.14 (p<0.041). It is concluded that increasing complexity, oftentimes caused by adding new technology to a Web page, inadvertently contributes to increasing barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities.
6th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers and accessibility; 10/2004
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The article focuses on the need of encouraging research on universal usability of computers to empower every citizen The article focuses on the need of encouraging research on universal usability of computers to empower every citizen. Universal usability can be defined as having more than 90% of all households as successful users of information and communications services at least once a week. A 1998 survey of U.S. households shows that 42% have computers and 26% use Internet-based email or other services. A research agenda based on three challenges in attaining universal usability for web-based and other services include the first challenge to cope with the technology variety by supporting the 100-to-1 range of hardware, software and network access speeds. The other two challenges include the accommodation of enormous diversity of users and bridging the gap between what users know and need to know. Attaining benefits of universal access to web-based and other information, communications, entertainment, and government services will require a more intense commitment to lowering costs, coupled with human-computer interaction research and usability engineering. As a concluding note, the article points out the success of the U.S. in making their services usable by many on recognition of centrality of usability by it. INSET: Web Resources for Universal Usability .
Communications of the ACM 08/2000; 43(5). DOI:10.1145/332833.332843 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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