Cognitive Web Accessibility: Readability 2014

Published in 2014, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and/or related articles that cite references.

  • Evaluation of DysWebxia: a reading app designed for people with dyslexia
    "In this paper we present the evaluation of DysWebxia, a reading app for iOS devices, specially designed for people with dyslexia. DysWebxia integrates previous results about the best way to present text for people with dyslexia together with a unique feature, the ability to show synonyms on demand for complex words...Our results show that the quality of the synonyms generated by the new algorithm outperforms a frequency based baseline, and that the participants found DysWebxia very usable. Therefore, we show that this app may have in the future a large impact for people with dyslexia."
  • Keyword Highlighting Improves Comprehension for People with Dyslexia
    "The use of certain font types and sizes improve the reading performance of people with dyslexia. However, the impact of combining such features with the semantics of the text has not yet been studied. In this eye-tracking study with 62 people (31 with dyslexia), we explore whether highlighting the main ideas of the text in boldface has an impact on readability and comprehensibility. We found that highlighting keywords improved the comprehension of participants with dyslexia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first result of this kind for people with dyslexia."
  • DysList: An Annotated Resource of Dyslexic Errors
    "We introduce a language resource for Spanish, DysList, composed of a list of unique errors extracted from a collection of texts written by people with dyslexia. Each of the errors was annotated with a set of characteristics as well as visual and phonetic features. To the best of our knowledge this is the largest resource of this kind, especially given the difficulty of finding texts written by people with dyslexia."
  • DysWebxia. A Text Accessibility Model for People with Dyslexia
    "Worldwide, 10% of the population has dyslexia, a cognitive disability that reduces readability and comprehension of written information. The goal of this thesis is to make text more accessible for people with dyslexia by combining human computer interaction validation methods and natural language processing techniques. In the initial phase of this study we examined how people with dyslexia identify errors in written text. Their written errors were analyzed and used to estimate the presence of text written by individuals with dyslexia in the Web. After concluding that dyslexic errors relate to presentation and content features of text, we carried out a set of experiments using eye tracking to determine the conditions that led to improved readability and comprehension. After finding the relevant parameters for text presentation and content modification, we implemented a lexical simplification system. Finally, the results of the investigation and the resources created, lead to a model, DysWebxia, that proposes a set of recommendations that have been successfully integrated in four applications."
  • Age-Related Differences in Eye Tracking and Usability Performance: Website Usability for Older Adults
    "Cognitive decline is inherent with age. Despite known cognitive limitations, older adults are generally not taken into account during website design. Understanding age-related differences in website navigation is instructive for website design, especially considering the growing number of older adults who use the Internet. This article presents usability and eye-tracking data from five independent website usability studies that included younger and older participants. Overall results revealed age-dependent differences in eye movement and performance during website navigation on some of the sites. In particular, older participants had lower accuracy in one study and took longer to complete tasks in two studies compared to younger participants, they looked at the central part of the screen more frequently than younger participants in two studies, and they looked at the peripheral left part of the screen less frequently and took longer to first look at the peripheral top part of the screen than younger participants in one study. These data highlight the potential for age-related differences in performance while navigating websites and provide motivation for further exploration. Implications for website design and for usability practitioners are discussed."
  • Comparison of Two Swarm Intelligence Optimization Algorithms on the Textual Color Problem for Web Accessibility
    Currently, web accessibility is not a major concern of webmasters while creating web sites. For disabled people, it rapidly becomes an obstacle to inclusion in the society. Identifying and circumventing existing barriers constitute an important research topic. In this work, we are concerned with the problem of color accessibility of textual contents in web pages. In many cases, the textual colors of a web page do not respect the minimum constraints defined by recommendations like WCAG 2.0. For example, WCAG 2.0 requires that a minimum difference of brightness, tonality and contrast is ensured. Using the Smart Web Accessibility Platform, we try to transform the colors using a client-side HTTP proxy the best possible while retaining a reasonable access time for the web content. To solve the textual color problem for accessibility, we adapt two swarm intelligence based optimization methods (ABC and API) and we hybridize them with a line search."
  • Color and Contrast in E-Learning Design: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Instructional Designers and Web Developers
    "Judicious choice of color for text and backgrounds of web and e-learning tools can increase the readability of on-screen text and have the added benefits of minimizing extraneous cognitive load and boosting learning retention. A review of empirical research on color and contrast identifies a set of recommendations for establishing luminance contrast between on-screen text and backgrounds that will inform instructional design and web development practices. Visual cueing, as an element of multimedia theory, and web page complexity also play important roles in maximizing readability. Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and Section 508 guidelines for making web pages usable by individuals with physical and/or visual impairments are not uniformly applied to current design practices; this review uses color blindness to as an example and recommends several online tools to select appropriate page background and text colors, two areas that receive limited attention in current WAI guidelines. Suggestions for future research on the intersection between color and contrast and how it can improve readability for all users, including individuals with visual impairments such as color blindness, and multimedia cognitive load theory are proposed."
  • The Readability Test Tool
    "The Readability Test Tool provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work. It is the most flexible readability software for assessing readability formulas.The Readability Test Tool takes the text on your web page and gives a score for the most used readability indicators. You can test all, or part of a web page, or simply type in your text. Link directly from your page - it will compute the results for the referring page."
  • Computers Helping People with Special Needs ICCHP 2014
    "The two-volume set Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8547 and 8548 constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) held in July, 2014. Included are 132 revised full papers and 55 short papers presented"
  • Easy to Read on the Web – State of the Art and Research Directions
    "Easy to Read on the Web” aims at raising awareness and collecting/deriving concise and up-to-date recommendations, guidelines, standards and tools for enhancing the web experience for users with cognitive disabilities and other groups facing problems with “standard” information on the Web." "...this paper discusses the state of the art in Easy to Read on the Web and in related domains and outlines areas of research which should help to better address the needs of people with cognitive disabilities and other groups in using web based information as well as the web itself and its applications."
  • Accessible Web Content: A Noble Desire or a Need?
    "The implementation of information that is easy-to-read and easy-to-understand on the Web is crucial to enable the broadest user group possible to make use of information that is presented on Web pages. Besides aspects of technical accessibility in terms of being able to reach the information, readability, understandability and memorability is an essential aspect of accessibility for people with disabilities and more user-friendly for all others. The paper presents different levels of accessible content and discusses how accessible content generation can reduce the complexity of the Web."
  • Learning technologies for people with disabilities
    "In this paper, we will cover basic concepts of e-accessibility, universal design and assistive technologies, with a special focus on accessible e-learning systems. Then, we will present recent research works conducted in our research Laboratory LaTICE toward the development of an accessible online learning environment for persons with disabilities from the design and specification step to the implementation. We will present, in particular, the accessible version “MoodleAcc+” of the well known e-learning platform Moodle as well as new elaborated generic models and a range of tools for authoring and evaluating accessible educational content."
  • Text Simplification Tools: Using Machine Learning to Discover Features that Identify Difficult Text
    "We systematically examine sixteen features for predicting the difficulty of health texts using six different machine learning algorithms. Three represent new features not previously examined: medical concept density, specificity (calculated using word-level depth in MeSH); and ambiguity (calculated using the number of UMLS Metathesaurus concepts associated with a word). We examine these features for a binary prediction task on 118,000 simple and difficult sentences from a sentence-aligned corpus. Using all features, random forests is the most accurate with 84% accuracy. Model analysis of the six models and a complementary ablation study shows that the specificity and ambiguity features are the strongest predictors (24% combined impact on accuracy). Notably, a training size study showed that even with a 1% sample (1,062 sentences) an accuracy of 80% can be achieved."
  • Increasing Accessibility: Using Universal Design Principles to Address Disability Impairments in the Online Learning Environment
    "With the increasing number of students enrolling in distance education, there is a need to consider the accessibility of course materials in online learning environments. Four major groups of disabilities: mobility, auditory, visual, and cognitive are explored as they relate to their implementation into instructional design and their impact on students in online learning, specifically for students with disabilities. This article highlights the ways in which universal design can assist in providing increased accessibility, not only for students with disabilities, but for all students in the online learning environment. Current standards for disability instruction and guidelines for creating accessible materials are shared." "The purpose of this article is to identify challenges in the online learning environment faced by those with disabilities and to illustrate how the principles of universal design can be used as a means to assist instructors in increasing accessibility for students with disabilities in the online learning environment (Mace, Hardie, & Plaice, 1991)."

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