Thursday, March 31, 2005

Innovative Design Inspired by Accessibility

The Web provides unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities. People who are blind no longer wait for 25 pounds of braille to be printed and delivered or for a volunteer to read. People who have difficulty moving in physical space can easily attend classes. Those who find it hard to read the labels on products or have trouble getting oriented in grocery stores (whose layouts change frequently) can shop using Web sites with images and search features.

However, we have much work to do—most existing Web content is not fully accessible. Browsers, multimedia players and assistive technologies do not yet provide a completely usable and accessible experience. Authoring tools and development environments (including blogging applications) neither produce fully accessible Web content nor have accessible interfaces.

Until people with disabilities are able to both access and contribute to the Web, the Web will not be fully accessible. Unfortunately, an accessible Web will not solve all accessibility issues—there are still many obstacles that contribute to unequal access in the physical environment. (Via Digital Web Magazine)

Abilities - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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