Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2009

Published in 2009, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and related articles that cite references.

  • Invisible access needs of people with intellectual disabilities: a conceptual model of practice
    "Accessibility is about the ability to reach and navigate a place; the opportunity to participate, use, and enjoy a service or facility; and the right to receive information. However, the barriers to accessibility faced by people with intellectual disabilities are not always apparent and, therefore, require exploration and clarification. The main accessibility challenges faced by people with intellectual disability can be categorized by four domains: pace, complexity, literacy, and stigma."
  • Developing and evaluating web-based assistive technologies for older adults
    "Delivering Inclusive Access to Disabled and Elderly Members of the community (DIADEM) is a three year Framework 6 European Union (EU) funded project. The primary goal is to develop the DIADEM application, a plug-in to a web browser that adapts the online-form interface according to users’ needs, making the content more accessible for cognitively impaired older adults. After providing some background information relating to the DIADEM project and the DIADEM application, a trial protocol is presented. As one of the main contributions of this paper, the protocol has been specifically designed to identify cognitively impaired older-adults and to evaluate the usability of online-form content from an older adult user’s perspective. To demonstrate the applicability of the trial protocol within the context of an ongoing research project, details of a set of pan-European trials involving 77 eligible users, who evaluated DIADEM enabled online-forms according to the trial protocol, are also presented. Results of the trials reveal a number of online-form design guidelines, which will be incorporated into future versions of the DIADEM application. Although these guidelines have been developed specifically for the DIADEM application, they also represent valuable guidelines for online-form developers more generally, and if adhered to, will ensure that content is more usable for the cognitively impaired older adult user group. This paper concludes by discussing the lessons learned from implementing the trial protocol and how the implications of the findings of the DIADEM user trials may be incorporated into future versions of the DIADEM application."
  • Human-computer interface design in an e-Learning system for individuals with cognitive and learning disabilities
    "As computer systems continue to improve, they also often become larger and more complicated. This may create barriers for individuals with cognitive and learning disabilities, who may find these systems more difficult to use. In this paper, an approach incorporating recent research into interface accessibility for assistive technology is taken to improve the usability of an e-Learning system. By developing a prototype without unnecessary complexities or distractions and by retaining and enhancing those features that are required, this type of e-Learning system can meet the needs of its intended users."
  • Automatic readability assessment for people with intellectual disabilities
    "My research goal is to advance our understanding of, and quantify, what makes a text easy or difficult to read, in particular for readers with intellectual disabilities."
  • Comparing evaluation techniques for text readability software for adults with intellectual disabilities
    "We introduce our research on the development of software to automatically simplify news articles, display them, and read them aloud for adults with ID."
  • Evaluating the usability of a single UK community acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation service website: Implications for research methodology and website design
    "This pilot study recruited a group of individuals with ABI ... who were clients of a UK National Health Service rehabilitation service and asked them to assess a specialised website provided by that service and hosted by their employing Primary Care Trust organisation. Participants completed a practical task and then gave their opinions on various aspects of website design, and content. They were also asked to suggest improvements and recommend additions. Overall the results were favourable. However, improvements in the legibility, layout and writing style were identified."
  • Five Steps to an Accessible Classroom Website
    "Websites should be accessible to those with visual, hearing, movement, cognitive, and speech disabilities." ... "This article presents five steps that will open one's website to a wide community of diverse users: (1) Organize for easier navigation; (2) Navigation without a mouse; (3) Text explanations for images; (4) Using text that makes sense; and (5) Web validators."
  • What we know about dyslexia and Web accessibility: a research review
    "This paper reviews existing literature at the intersection of dyslexia and accessibility research to determine what useful knowledge exists regarding this important and relatively large group of users. This review uncovers that, although there are few published usability tests with dyslexic users, there is a considerable body of knowledge on dyslexia as well as many design guidelines for authoring dyslexic-accessible interfaces."
  • The performance of mouse pointing and selecting for pupils with and without intellectual disabilities
    "Pupils with intellectual disabilities executed tasks more correctly in bigger target even in tasks with the same index of difficulty. The group with intellectual disabilities performed worse in cursor control even when only those correctly completed tasks were used for comparison. However, a similar pattern was observed in the performance of the group without disabilities."
  • Communication and empowerment: A place for rich and multiple media?
    "Project @pple (Access & Participation for People with intellectual disability in Learning Environments) was about exploring the terms on which young people with intellectual disability access and participate with e-Learning and the Web. "
  • Competence of people with intellectual disabilities on using human-computer interface
    "We investigated the task processes which hinder people with intellectual disabilities (ID) when using the human-computer interface." ... "The interface used by Internet Explorer (IE) was standardized into 16 tasks ...".
  • AltText: A Showcase of User Centred Design in the Netherlands
    "In the information processing chain many documents are produced that are inaccessible to the reading impaired. The altText project aims to increase the accessibility of this content ...".
  • Enhancing Accessibility of Web Content for the Print-Impaired and Blind People
    "In this paper we present SpellCast Navi, ..." which "... acquires and parses the content of web pages, converts bi-lingual text into synthetic speech using high quality speech synthesizer, and supports a set of common functionalities such as navigation through hotkeys, audible navigation lists and more."
  • Adaptive User Interfaces: Benefit or Impediment for Lower-Literacy Users?
    "This paper addresses web accessibility and usability for lower-literacy users with limited ICT skills. Although adaptive and adaptable user interfaces have been studied and discussed at least since the 80s, the potential of adaptive user interfaces is still far from realization. A main conclusion drawn in this paper is that simple, straightforward and intuitive adaptivity mechanisms may work well, but more complex and pervasive ones don’t, and may even be counterproductive."
  • Meta-design: Expanding Boundaries and Redistributing Control in Design
    "This paper characterizes different design methodologies and identifies the unique challenges and opportunities for meta-design. It illustrates this approach with two examples ..." one of which is "...the Memory Aiding Prompting System (MAPS) (addressing the needs of people with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers) ..."
  • Implications of Graphics on Usability and Accessibility for the Voter
    "After an overview of the history of graphics on ballots, usability and accessibility issues concerning graphics are discussed in detail. The question of whether certain types of graphics would help people with cognitive disabilities vote is then considered in light of research and best practices for usability and accessibility."
  • Mobile Technology for People with Cognitive Disabilities and Their Caregivers – HCI Issues
    "Participants mapped future directions for exploiting technical opportunities, with a focus on people with cognitive disabilities. HCI issues that emerged as critical include profile-based configuration of user interfaces and functionality, support for spoken presentation of text content, support for viewing web content on devices with small screens, and support for remote assistance, so that users can get help when they get stuck."
  • Cognitive impairments and Web 2.0
    "This paper illustrates how some of the human–computer interaction patterns associated with Web 2.0 can degrade the user experience of those with particular cognitive disabilities."
  • Public computing options for individuals with cognitive impairments: Survey outcomes
    "Purpose: To examine availability and accessibility of public computing for individuals with cognitive impairment (CI) who reside in the USA."
  • Speaking through pictures: images vs. icons
    "We present results from two studies that ..." "... demonstrate that images can be as effective as icons when used as a replacement for English language communication." People with aphasia, a condition that impairs the ability to understand or generate written or spoken language, are aided by assistive technology that helps them communicate through a vocabulary of icons. These systems are akin to language translation systems, translating icon arrangements into spoken or written language and vice versa. However, these icon-based systems have little vocabulary breadth or depth, making it difficult for people with aphasia to apply their usage to multiple real world situations. Pictures from the web are numerous, varied, and easily accessible and thus, could potentially address the small size issues of icon-based systems. We present results from two studies that investigate this potential and demonstrate that images can be as effective as icons when used as a replacement for English language communication. The first study uses elderly subjects to investigate the efficacy of images vs. icons in conveying word meaning; the second study examines the retention of word-level meaning by both images and icons with a population of aphasics. We conclude that images collected from the web are as functional as icons in conveying information and thus, are feasible to use in assistive technology that supports people with aphasia.
  • End-user moderation of cognitive accessibility in online communities: case study of brain fog in the lyme community
    Explores how individuals (with Lyme disease who are affected by 'brain fog' ) "... fail and succeed to establish and enforce, through moderation, the creation of cognitively accessible content ...".
  • WebAIM: Overview of Steppingstones Cognitive Research
    "This article provides a brief overview of the findings and observations of a cognitive accessibility survey."

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