Archive for the ‘Web Accessibility’ Category

2016 Boston Accessibility Conference – 10/1 – Register Now!

2016/09/12

Register Now for the 2016 Boston Accessibility Conference!

When

  • Saturday, October 1, 2010, 9 AM to 5 PM

Where

What

This is a conference about making technology accessible, especially the web, but also mobile, games, and much more. It is an opportunity for designers, developers, usability professionals, accessibility experts, and end users to share information and learn from each other.

Who

Keynote Speaker:

Organizers include:

2016 sponsors include my own program, INDEX, which has free information about programs, providers, and services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. We also build accessible web applications and online courses.

Register Now for the 2016 Boston Accessibility Conference!

Discussion of U.S. and Worldwide Issues of Cognitive Accessibility

2015/09/29

Yesterday, Neil Milliken and Debra Ruh, members of the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force, interviewed Andrew Imparato, Executive Director of the U.S. Association of University Centers on Disabilities as part of their AXSchat series.

Watch the great, informative interview of Andy. Their discussion is a wide-ranging one, including commentary about related U.S. policy, and the history of its development.

The programs they discussed are the very ones in which I have worked, since 1991, at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center.

2015 Boston Accessibility Conference – 9/19 – Register Now!

2015/09/08

Register Now for the 2015 Boston Accessibility Conference!

When

  • Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9 AM to 5 PM

Where

What

This is a conference about making technology accessible, especially the web, but also mobile, games, and much more. It is an opportunity for designers, developers, usability professionals, accessibility experts, and end users to share information and learn from each other.

Who

Keynote Speaker:

Organizers include:

2015 sponsors include my own program, INDEX, which provides, to the public for free, information about programs, providers, and services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. We also build accessible web applications and online courses.

Register Now for the 2015 Boston Accessibility Conference!

Autism Gap Analysis (W3C Task Force)

2014/08/25

Neil Milliken and I have written an autism gap analysis as part of the effort to create gap analyses by the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force. Our intent is to identify the gap between where the state of accessibility for people with autism is now when using the web, and where we want it to be. The following is information about the autism gap analysis.

We included some personas with use cases that address key challenges. The personas and use cases are based upon aggregated results of interviews of people with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), and upon anecdotal observations of their use of the web.

To our knowledge, there is no significant, empirical (user-based) testing on the use of the web by people with autism or other cognitive disabilities. In part because of that, we quoted results of directly-related research performed by WebAIM (N=8) in the section “Characteristics of content optimized for this group.”

We also quoted, from authoritative sources, much of the background information about autism. We did that, in large part, to help avoid adding to ASD-related controversies. The prime example is the reported increasing prevalence of ASD, and arguments that the increase is not actual, but due to the nature of the diagnoses.

Notes:

  • I will soon conduct a literature review for user-testing-based research related to web accessibility and people with cognitive disabilities. If you know of any, please post a comment with a reference to it.
  • Neil Milliken was assisted by Jessie Grainger, an intern who helped write most of the use-case scenarios.
  • No endorsement of any of the information contained in the autism gap analysis is intended or implied.

Gap Analyses for Cognitive Web Accessibility (W3C Task Force)

2014/08/19

The members of the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force have been working since January to develop a set of gap analyses. A gap analysis, as we have defined it, identifies the gap between where the state of accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities is now when using the web, and where we want it to be.

The gap analyses are based upon common cognitive disabilities. The following list of the gap analyses includes their primary authors (as of July, 2014).

The task force has completed the first drafts. We are now working on integrating the information in the gap analyses into a single document. A large part of this work is to define cognitive web accessibility from a functional standpoint. We plan to combine information, such as challenges and techniques, that is common across the gap analyses, and retain information that is unique to a particular disability.

Note: The referenced gap analyses should not be quoted. They are works in progress. They do not necessarily represent consensus. They may have incorrect information; or information not supported by other task-force members, the WAI, or the W3C. They also may have some very-useful information. (This disclaimer paraphrases the one at the tops of the gap analyses.)

2014 Boston Accessibility Conference – May 10 – Register Now!

2014/04/21

Register Now for the 2014 Boston Accessibility Conference!

When

  • Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9 AM to 5 PM

Where

What

This is a conference about making technology accessible, especially the web, but also mobile, games, and much more. It is an opportunity for designers, developers, usability professionals, accessibility experts, and end users to share information and learn from each other.

Who

Keynote Speaker:

  • Judy Brewer
  • Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • W3C Profile of Judy

Organizers include:

2014 sponsors include my own project, INDEX, which provides, to the public for free, information about programs, providers, and services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts.

Register Now for the 2014 Boston Accessibility Conference!

2013 Boston Accessibility Conference – September 28 – Register Now!

2013/09/09

Register Now for the 2013 Boston Accessibility Conference!

When

  • Saturday, September 28, 2013

Where

  • Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center
  • One Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02142

What

This is a conference about making technology accessible, especially the web, but also mobile, games, and much more. It is an opportunity for designers, developers, usability professionals, accessibility experts, and end users to share information and learn from each other.

Who

Organizers include:

2013 sponsors include my own project, INDEX, which provides, to the public for free, information about programs, providers, and services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts.

Register Now for the 2013 Boston Accessibility Conference!

2012 Boston Accessibility Conference – September 15 – Register Now!

2012/08/20

Register Now for the 2012 Boston Accessibility Conference!

When

  • Saturday, September 15, 2012

Where

  • Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center
  • One Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02142

Who

Organizers include:

2012 sponsors include my own project, New England INDEX, which provides information about programs and services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts.

Register Now for the 2012 Boston Accessibility Conference!

Boston Accessibility Unconference 2011: What, When, Where, Who

2011/08/25

What

When

Where

  • Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center
  • One Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02142
  • Directions

Who

Register Now!

Improving Web Searching for People with Cognitive Disabilities

2011/04/25

Using a website search tool is difficult for people with cognitive disabilities. Finding a relevant result is often thwarted by spelling errors they make, their inability to detect them, or a lack of understanding about how to correct them. Determining which search results are best can be equally difficult.

This post is a synopsis of an approach to circumventing such problems. An example has been implemented on a web site of the German Institute for Human Rights, which is an easy-to-read version of a United Nations convention on the rights of people with disabilities. A typically-appearing site search incorporates novel spelling-correction features and a simplified presentation of search results.

Spelling Correction

The site search suggests spelling alternatives only for words that actually appear within the content of the website. Searches for correctly-spelled words that produce no search results would be very frustrating for anyone.

To enable spelling suggestions, a manually-edited index of syntactically-similar words was created. Point values were assigned for similarities in the number of the same letters and the word length. A higher value was given to alternative words with the same first letter, but that was not essential.

To enable search-word spelling correction within the fewest steps possible, the most-similar alternatives are displayed in a word cloud. Of those, typically three, the one with the highest probability of matching the intended search word is presented in a larger text size.

Example Spelling Correction

The German word for “contact” is “kontakt”. Initiating a search with the misspelled word “kontat” produces a word cloud as shown in the following image.

Of the displayed three words, Kommunikation Kontakt Kunst, the second is shown in a larger font. All are hyperlinks.

The developers believe the word cloud makes it very easy to recognize the correctly-spelled word, and to select a search word. I don’t know why the first letters are capitalized.

Simplified Search Results

Search results are presented in plain language. Each has a bulleted, succinct summary of information on the linked page; and a contextually-relevant image to aid comprehension.

Example Search Result

The following image shows a single search result translated from German to English using Google Translate.

Contact - Here you will find: The address and telephone number of the German Institute for Human Rights. And a contact form.

One aspect of the search results I do not favor is that links to the search-result pages are not underlined. It is only when the cursor is hovered over a link, such as “Contact” in the example search result, that an underline appears.

Conclusion

I am impressed with this approach. This is the first time I have seen search results presented so simply, and with accompanying relevant imagery. I think the spelling-correction features are also worthwhile. In a pilot study of them, 9 of 34 people with learning disabilities could use the search site independently. I expect the developers will continue user testing. With funding and time, I would like to develop a site search using similar techniques.

Notes


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