Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making the web more accessible to people with disabilities and special needs

Date:
February 25, 2011
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
In posting information to the Internet, one of the main aims is for that information to reach as many people as possible. That usually means achieving a prominent position in the search engine results pages, providing legible and attractive enough information that potential readers are wont to read it and to ensure that it meets the demands of users with disabilities. Researchers in Hungary suggest that only if all these criteria are fulfilled does a website become truly accessible.

In posting information to the Internet, one of the main aims is for that information to reach as many people as possible. That usually means achieving a prominent position in the search engine results pages, providing legible and attractive enough information that potential readers are wont to read it and to ensure that it meets the demands of users with disabilities. Researchers in Hungary suggest that only if all these criteria are fulfilled does a website become truly accessible.

Writing in the International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence, the team, based at the University of Szeged, suggests how theoretical and practical dimensions of screen structure, data structure and metadata can be analysed and used to promote universal accessibility.

Medical informatics expert Erzsιbet Forczek, explains that access to the Internet, and more specifically the world wide web, has become essential for all members of society. Physical access is a prerequisite but the availability, retrieval and processing of information on the web must be supported by information technology.

"Information on the web is global in the sense that it can be seen or used by anyone around the world," says Forczek. "However, for information to become global, it is not sufficient merely for it to appear on the web; it has to be searchable, and its contents identifiable and interpretable, since immediately available information is crucial in economic and business life, in education, in research, in health care and in virtually every other sphere of life." She adds that, "We have to consider how disabled people can access the information available on websites and how they can utilise it. By providing additional physical accessibility, we can extend the group of end-users."

Forczek has investigated how well the needs of the visually impaired are addressed by web sites, especially those offering multimedia. Similarly, those with hearing impairment are often excluded from audio media. "The most important principle of accessibility to a web page is to provide alternatives for the different media applications and their navigating functions," says Forczek. Similarly, software that addresses the issues faced by people with special needs is essential for accessibility, Forczek adds.

Particular aspects of web design that must be taken into consideration in ensuring as wide accessibility as possible include: a syntactically and semantically correct web page that can be parsed correctly by assistive software, the use of style sheets to allow a page to be rendered fully in alternative formats, clarification of the meaning of any acronyms used, the provision of alternative texts for non-textual information, such as images and audio files, the provision of synchronised alternatives to time-dependent media, such as audio applications or videos, and the provision of full navigation via the keyboard so that mouse control is not a prerequisite for accessing the information. Forczek suggests that in addition to these considerations meta data must be used correctly to make the information more readily available through search.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Making the web more accessible to people with disabilities and special needs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110225091013.htm>.
Inderscience. (2011, February 25). Making the web more accessible to people with disabilities and special needs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110225091013.htm
Inderscience. "Making the web more accessible to people with disabilities and special needs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110225091013.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sprint's Custom Prepaid Plans Draw Net Neutrality Fire

Sprint's Custom Prepaid Plans Draw Net Neutrality Fire

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Sprint's Virgin Mobile Custom plan offers optional social network access that doesn't count against data caps — but critics are crying foul. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins