Barriers to Information Access and Factors for Improvement

Disabilities Affect Access

  • visual impairment:
    • blindness
    • low-vision
    • color blindness
  • hearing impairment
    • partial hearing loss
    • total hearing loss
  • motor impairment
  • cognitive and learning disabilities
    • dyslexia
    • Attention deficit disorder
  • temporary and situational disabilities

Visual Impairment: Characteristics

  • Unable or difficult to obtain a bird-eye-view of the screen.
  • Unable or difficult to understand the layout of items on the screen
  • Unable or difficult to note dynamically changing visual content.

Visual Impairment: Barriers to Access

  • Images that do not have text-form alternatives
  • Complex images (e.g., graphs or charts) that are not adequately described
  • Video that does not have sufficient description by either text or audio
  • Dynamically changing content
  • Content whose semantic is presented only by visual appearance

Visual Impairment: Assistive Technologies

  • Use of screen reader
    • Speech output
    • Braille output
  • Use of screen magnification software

Hearing Impairment: Characteristics

  • Unable or difficult to obtain auditory information.
  • Unable or difficult to note existence of auditory content.

Hearing Impairment: Barriers to Access

  • Lack of captions or transcripts of audio on the Web
  • Lack of content-related images in pages full of text, which can slow comprehension for people whose first language may be a sign language instead of a written/spoken language
  • Automatic playback of audio
  • Requirements for voice input on Web sites

Hearing Impairment: Assitive Technologies

  • Visual bell

Mobility Impairments

  • Weakness
  • Limitations of muscular control (such as involuntary movements, lack of coordination, or paralysis)
  • Limitations of sensation
  • Missing limbs
  • Pain caused by some motions

Mobility Impairments: Barriers to Access

  • Time-limited response options on Web pages
  • Web pages that require complex operation of pointing devices
  • Browsers that do not support keyboard alternatives for mouse commands

Mobility Impairment: Assistive Technologies

  • Switches and software keyboard
  • Alternative hardware

Cognitive & Neurological Disabilities: Barriers to access

  • Lack of alternative modalities for interaction with Web sites
  • Distracting visual or audio elements that cannot easily be turned off
  • Use of unnecessarily complex language on Web sites
  • Lack of graphics on Web sites
  • Lack of clear or consistent organization of Web sites

Three Players Responsible for Web Accessibility

  • Content Creators --- Accessibility of the Web content must be improved.
  • User-Agent Developer --- User-agents must be designed so that it benefits from accessible content.
  • Users --- Users need to learn how to make use of accessible content with well-designed user-agents.

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This page was last edited by PVerma on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 02:30
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