Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2014

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

  • 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."
  • 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."
  • Testing the Perceived Ease of Use in Social Media: Acceptance Testing for People with Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities
    "In our research, we focus on this important issue of e-inclusion and participation of people with intellectual disabilities in social media. In the context of this paper, we will present a methodology on how to evaluate the perceived ease of use of social media applications by people with intellectual disability. Moreover, we will pre-validate this methodology by applying it in a test setting with a customized barrier-free OSN, developed in our research group. This is the first step for developing a target group specific acceptance model, based on the technology acceptance model."
  • 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"
  • How to Make Online Social Networks Accessible for Users with Intellectual Disability?
    "Participation in online social networks has considerable potential to empower people with intellectual disability who might experience social isolation in the real world. In this study an accessible online research survey was conducted to learn how adults with intellectual disability use and perceive Facebook. Results from 58 respondents indicated that they use Facebook much as non-disabled users do to connect with family members and real-world friends. The respondents reported challenges such as privacy setting and literacy demands. The study discusses these findings and how to make social networking sites accessible for this population."
  • Software for enhancing accessibility and fighting info-exclusion
    "In the innovative world of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), there is a continual flow of new information and experiences engaging individuals in the digital era. The use of ICT is increasing and proving to be of greater importance in people’s everyday lives, accessing services to fulfill basic human needs. However, this increase in use and importance of ICT raises concerns to whether these technologies are fully accessible for all people, especially to disabled and elderly people. Disability can take many forms and can cover a wide range of impairments—some people have sensory disabilities covering difficulties with hearing, speech and sight; others are physically disabled and have problems with mobility; some suffer from cognitive impairments such as dyslexia and learning difficulties and there are those who battle with the debilitating effects of diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the ICT due to the accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use them. Designing products that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities, is a requirement in the years to come. A paradigmatic change in the software industry is needed to focus on the benefits of universal design. In fact, there is an increasing recognition that ICT accessibility can be a tool for commercial growth and the promotion of anti-discrimination legislation. Access to technology by disabled and elderly people is a major issue in allowing their integration in society. The growing global proportion of disabled and elderly people signifies that the urgency of this issue will not decrease in the years to come."
  • Cognitive accessibility – how come we know so little?
    "This research study, which was funded by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, set out to find which methods, and their effects, regarding cognitive accessibility that are documented in the grey literature (academic literature that has not been formally published). Overall the survey revealed a very limited amount of scientific research and that the studies that have been done often included very few people."
  • Accessibility to electronic communication for people with cognitive disabilities: a systematic search and review of empirical evidence
    "The purpose of this study was to identify and synthesize measures for accessibility to electronic communication for people with cognitive disabilities by seeking answers to the following research questions: What measures to make electronic communication accessible to people with cognitive disabilities are evaluated and reported in the scientific literature? What documented effects do these measures have? Empirical studies describing and assessing cognitive accessibility measures were identified by searches of 13 databases. Data were extracted and methodological quality was assessed. Findings were analyzed and recommendations for practice and research were made. Twenty-nine articles with considerable variations in studied accessibility measures, diagnoses, methods, outcome measures, and quality were included. They address the use of Internet, e-mail, telephone, chat, television, multimedia interfaces, texts and pictures, operation of equipment, and entering of information. Although thin, the current evidence base indicates that the accessibility needs, requirements, and preferences of people with cognitive disabilities are diverse. This ought to be reflected in accessibility guidelines and standards. Studies to systematically develop and recommend effective accessibility measures are needed to address current knowledge gaps."
  • Web accessibility and cognitive disabilities
    "Access iQ spoke with Stefan Johansson, an accessibility expert at Funka, on the major issues associated with web accessibility and cognitive disabilities."
  • Is digital divide an issue for students with learning disabilities?
    "The purpose of this study was to examine if digital divide exists between elementary school aged children with learning disabilities (LD) and their nondisabled peers in Taiwan."
  • Development of an audio-computer assisted self-interview to investigate violence and health in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities.
    "Audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASIs) have safely and effectively obtained sensitive research data from the general public and have been recommended for use with people with disabilities. However, few studies have used ACASIs with people with disabilities and ACASIs have not been used to investigate the relationship between disability, interpersonal violence (IPV), and physical and psychological health among people with developmental disabilities (PWDD). We developed an accessible ACASI specifically designed to allow PWDD to answer questions independently, while privately and securely collecting anonymous data related to their disability, IPV experiences, and physical and psychological health."
  • 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."
  • An Assistive Navigation System Based on Augmented Reality and Context Awareness for People With Mild Cognitive Impairments
    "This paper presents a system for supplying spatial orientation and support to cognitively impaired people in their daily activities. The system is a technological solution based on external aid at a practical level (substitution-based rehabilitation). In particular, we propose a model focused on points of interest or well-known places, in which user-friendly routes to a destination are generated based on the user context rather than the conventional street names and quantitative distances. Moreover, the system offers augmented reality views that include contextual information. This philosophy of navigation more closely matches the needs of the user than do conventional navigation systems; the proposal is especially useful for users who are not accustomed to using new technologies (e.g., elderly people), people experiencing disorientation and, more generally, individuals with a slight cognitive deficit. The system also includes an application that allows the relatives of the user to establish tasks that must be performed at a specific location and to monitor the activities of the user to detect potentially risky situations."
  • 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."
  • eQuality: The struggle for web accessibility by persons with cognitive disabilities
    "This book examines the struggle for web accessibility and usability for people with cognitive disabilities. It contends that the rights of individuals with cognitive disabilities to equal access to web content are not only protected under law, but may also be implemented and supported by current user-based, semantic, and cloud technologies." "Chapters address ways in which web equality is crucial to independent living, education, employment, self-determination, and social inclusion and contemplate a world with full and equal enjoyment of web content, which considers technology, financial benefits, and the role of advocacy and regulation."
  • 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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