Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2012

Published in 2012, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and related articles that cite references.

  • Significance of learner dependent features for improving text readability using extractive summarization
    Information and Communication Technologies play major role in all types of day to day life activities including Government, public and social domains. The need for HCI aspects to be taken care in these activities has become a predominant one. Especially, incorporating HCI features in the academic environment is getting more attention. In the case of reading materials associated with any type of academic process or content delivery, much focus is to be given so that even people with learning difficulties can get the information to his/her level of ability. Though lot of information is available in the academic scenario in the forms of text books, course ware, on line resources, web documents etc., not all content is readable by all. Tools and technologies must be made available to help people with learning difficulties including dyslexics. The idea is to reduce the burden levels of the learners with the help of assistive technologies. In this direction, this paper focuses on highlighting the importance of various features to be considered for making the text readable by all, using summarization techniques. Text summarization based on both document level and learner level features are discussed for making the content readable for people with learning difficulties. The experiments show that learner dependent features improve the readability of the text through summary as preview of the text.
  • The recognition of web pages' hyperlinks by people with intellectual disabilities: an evaluation study.
    "One of the most mentioned problems of web accessibility, as recognized in several different studies, is related to the difficulty regarding the perception of what is or is not clickable in a web page. In particular, a key problem is the recognition of hyperlinks by a specific group of people, namely those with intellectual disabilities...The referred analysis indeed shows that not only did these specific participants gain a better understanding of the demanding task, but also they showed an improved perception concerning the content of the navigation menu that included hyperlinks with images."
  • Ergonomics of usability/accessibility-ready websites: Tools and guidelines
    "The purpose of this research is to study the available literature on usability/accessibility ready websites and their tools and guidelines. The research findings will help web engineers to build websites and web services accessible for all the target audience, including people with special needs. A descriptive/interpretive research method was used for the study of usability, accessibility, globalization, readability and culture differences based on related literatures and on previous studies by academics and industrial institutions."
  • Cognitive Function and Assistive Technology for Cognition: A Systematic Review
    "The relationship between assistive technology for cognition (ATC) and cognitive function was examined using a systematic review. A literature search identified 89 publications reporting 91 studies of an ATC intervention in a clinical population. The WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was used to categorize the cognitive domains being assisted and the tasks being performed. Results show that ATC have been used to effectively support cognitive functions relating to attention, calculation, emotion, experience of self, higher level cognitive functions (planning and time management) and memory. The review makes three contributions: (1) It reviews existing ATC in terms of cognitive function, thus providing a framework for ATC prescription on the basis of a profile of cognitive deficits, (2) it introduces a new classification of ATC based on cognitive function, and (3) it identifies areas for future ATC research and development."
  • Accessibility of web search engines: Towards a deeper understanding of barriers for people with disabilities
    "This paper combines findings from web search engine research with aspects of disability studies. Therefore, it provides insights for researches, search engine developers and educators in practice on how important accessibility of web search engines for people with disabilities is, how it can be measured and what aspects need to be considered"
  • Layout guidelines for web text and a web service to improve accessibility for dyslexics
    "In this paper, we offer set of guidelines and a web service that presents Web texts in a more more accessible way to people with dyslexia. The layout guidelines for developing this service are based on a user study with a group of twenty two dyslexic users. The data collected from our study combines qualitative data from interviews and questionnaires and quantitative data from tests carried out using eye tracking. We analyze and compare both kinds of data and present a set of layout guidelines for making the text Web more readable for dyslexic users. To the best of our knowledge, our methodology for defining dyslexic-friendly guidelines and our web service are novel."
  • Web site usability testing involving people with learning disabilities using only images and audio to access information
    "The need for social inclusion, informed choice and the facilitation of independent living for people with learning disabilities (LD) is being emphasised ever more by government, professionals, academics and, indeed, by people with LD themselves, particularly in self-advocacy groups. Achieving goals around inclusion and autonomy requires access to relevant and accessible information. Hence, the project reported here, which revolves around the creation and development of a web site containing information about ‘transition’. This is the move from education or sheltered living to supported employment. The development of the web site included an examination of whether people with very low literacy skills were able to navigate the site and to access information. To this end, usability tests were undertaken consisting of simple tasks, broken down into ‘one-action’ elements and requiring the accessing and understanding of pictorial or audio information. Results elicited various issues including the size and understanding of images; activating hyperlinks, page length and invisible content, and accessing audio. Two accessibility issues were also found – poor mouse control and involuntary activation of the context menu. Solutions are offered regarding the issues documented, and the paper concludes by suggesting that it is possible both for people with minimal levels of literacy to obtain information on the web site."
  • People with Profound and Multiple Intellectual Disabilities Using Symbols to Control a Computer: Exploration of User Engagement and Supporter Facilitation
    "Computer usage features in everyday life for the majority of people in developed countries. Access is a problem for many users with intellectual disability. Action-research was conducted to develop and explore the potential of specially adapted, computer readable symbols for choosing and accessing media on a computer. Five people with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities, aged 15–28 years, took part. The symbols were introduced during computer-based activities across four trials at monthly intervals. Each trial was video-recorded. The vocal, non-vocal, and computer-related aspects of the footage were transcribed into standard orthography. A framework of activity moves based on applied linguistics analysis was used to assess user and supporter engagement. User data were summarised with descriptive statistics. Differences in user-supporter roles during symbol activities were determined by the non-parametric, U Mann-Whitney test. All the users showed some level of basic engagement with the adapted symbols, with certain individuals demonstrating functional usage. Attention levels appeared to increase as the trials progressed. Supporter contributions comprised significant levels of guidance and modelling with the symbols. Tangible symbols to access media on a computer provide some real possibilities for addressing access challenges experienced by this population. Candidacy and the mediating role of supporters require consideration."
  • Accessible Content Generation an Integral Part of Accessible Web Design
    "The importance of accessible Web design significantly rose within the last years. This is also reflected in a growing set of legal regulations that demand for accessible Web design. Unfortunately these regulations usually consider technical accessibility only, the complexity of the language used plays a minor role. Thus a huge group of people cannot make use of the content presented on Web pages. This paper discusses in detail the important interaction of accessible Web design and Easy-to-Read to generate accessible content and shows which phases of the design process demand for intensive user involvement."
  • SymbolChat: A flexible picture-based communication platform for users with intellectual disabilities
    "Persons with intellectual disabilities benefit from participating in the modern information society, especially the World Wide Web, social media and Internet-mediated communication services." "Overall, the results show that social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities can be improved with customizable communication tools. The implemented communication platform forms a solid basis for further improvements and new communication services. In addition, we found that users with motor impairments would greatly benefit from alternative input and output methods for symbol browsing and selection."
  • Implementation of Accessibility Standards in the Process of Course Design in Virtual Learning Environments
    "This article presents a case study for the project “E-Inclusion to people with disabilities. Implementation of accessibility standards in the process of course design in virtual learning environments”, the objective of the project is to develop an innovative on-line educational program through pilot course experimentation, introducing key competences in the field of digital literacy through Internet. The project seeks to implement various guidelines and recommendations in an Open Source e-Learning system to develop and document a methodology to produce multimedia/interactive content following the main accessibility standards, improving the process of course design in virtual learning environments and complementing actual Instructional Design methodologies."

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