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1 Guidelines for Developing an AAC-Enabled World Wide Web David Poulson and Colette Nicolle Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute (ESRI) Loughborough.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Guidelines for Developing an AAC-Enabled World Wide Web David Poulson and Colette Nicolle Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute (ESRI) Loughborough."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Guidelines for Developing an AAC-Enabled World Wide Web David Poulson and Colette Nicolle Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute (ESRI) Loughborough University, UK

2 2 EU WWAAC (World Wide Augmentative and Alternative Communication) project Aim: to make the electronic highway (in particular the World Wide Web and ) more accessible for people with communication difficulties, in particular those who use graphic symbol-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems But: non-symbol users could also benefit from easier access to Internet services.

3 3 Simulated web browser Limited user trials thus far Users with –personal experience in Web browsing –A receptive ability such that they understand the concepts of the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW)

4 4

5 5 From Users’ Requirements to AAC-enabled Web Design Study described in Clarke et al, 2002 Identified some of the requirements for developing AAC enabled WWW pages Insights into the likely needs for guidance on Web design in this sector

6 6 Some critical findings from user requirements Development of good screen reading software and support for speech output, e.g., embedded control elements for speech synthesis software, as well as support for different national languages Simplified WWW browsers (entering URLs in particular) Development of strategies for navigation—reminding users where they are and have been Guidance in the use of symbols versus text Information on the design implications of different communication problems

7 7 Existing WWW Design Guidelines Significant number of guidelines for general accessibility exist: especially with regard to visual impairment and motor impairment—for example to help ensure that tables and complicated text can be accessed by a screen reader, and that text descriptions of images are always provided

8 8 Some specific guidance exists, e.g.

9 9

10 10 World Wide Web Consortium– Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C–WAI) W3C created in October 1994 with around 500 member organisations from around the world and has earned international recognition for its contributions to the growth of the Web WAI, in coordination with organisations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.

11 11 World Wide Web Consortium– Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C–WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 (working draft) Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines User Agent Accessibility Guidelines XML Accessibility Guidelines (working draft)

12 12 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) (working draft as of 12 July 2002) Perceivable. Ensure that all intended function and information can be presented in form(s) that can be perceived by any user, except those aspects of the content that cannot be expressed in words. Operable. Ensure that the interface elements in the content are operable by any user. Navigable. Facilitate content orientation and navigation. Understandable. Make it as easy as possible to understand the content and controls. Robust. Use Web technologies that maximize the ability of the content to work with current and future accessibility technologies and user agents.

13 13 Guideline 4: Understandable. Make it as easy as possible to understand the content and controls. Checkpoint 4.1: Write as clearly and simply as is appropriate/possible for the purpose of the content. Checkpoint 4.2: Supplement text with non-text content. Checkpoint 4.3: Annotate complex, abbreviated or unfamiliar information with summaries and definitions.

14 14 Gaps needing to be filled Guidelines for the development of general- purpose WWW sites (refining existing guidelines where appropriate) so that they will be more usable by AAC users Guidelines for the development of specific sites intended for AAC users Guidelines for the development of adapted Web browsers for these user groups

15 15 Plan of Action Discussions with the W3C–WAI in order to develop more specific guidelines that can easily be integrated with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in accord with their five design principles Evaluation with users of the WWAAC project’s prototype Web browser which will be an exemplar of good practice

16 16 Guideline 4: Understandable Checkpoint 4.1: Write as clearly and simply as is [appropriate / possible] for the purpose of the content. Sample research questions: As WCAG 2.0 states, 'Specific objective criteria that could be applied across all types of content [and users—WWAAC project comment] are... not possible.‘ But how can Web developers best measure text complexity for AAC users?

17 17 Guideline 4: Understandable Checkpoint 4.2: Supplement text with non- text content. Sample research questions: Under what circumstances should auditory or symbol/picture presentations be used? How can the use of publicly available ‘concept coding’ enable key word translation from text into symbols/images/sounds?

18 18 Guideline 4: Understandable Checkpoint 4.3: Annotate complex, abbreviated or unfamiliar information with summaries and definitions. Sample research questions: What guidance is available on developing a text précis for AAC users? What metadata should Web authors include so that the page can easily be summarised and/or translated into symbols? The W3C currently experimenting with Annotations, using a browser/authoring tool called Amaya. AAC users could choose to see only the annotations (content in an alternative or summarised way)

19 19 Issues No comprehensive source of information about the design of WWW pages for people with learning or communication difficulties, and even less information on designing sites to facilitate access by symbol users Not efficient use of resources for Web developers creating general purpose sites to invest a considerable amount of effort in translating Web content into symbols. Diverse needs of different disability groups make it difficult to produce general recommendations for WWW site design, as the needs of one disability group can conflict with another.

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21 21 Summary Developers should follow simple guidelines to make Web sites more accessible to a wide range of disability groups, including those using AAC systems –to facilitate access by AAC and symbol users to Web pages designed to be used by the general public, and –to develop Web pages specifically for AAC and symbol users Propose that checkpoints within WCAG 2.0 provide more specific guidance to make all Web sites more accessible to AAC users, along with success criteria which should be satisfied to meet the needs of these users.

22 22 Summary Also a need to develop add-ons to existing web authoring tools that, e.g., can provide salient information contained within WWW pages, including keywords, key information, headings, and summaries in symbol or other suitable form. Guidelines for specific target groups could also be included as subsections to, or links from, the main body of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

23 23 Thanks to EC Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme WWAAC Consortium –Handicom (The Netherlands) –DART Regional Children’s Habilitation, Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Sweden) –Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, Kungl Tekniska Hogskölan (Sweden) –The ACE Centre Advisory Trust (United Kingdom) –Modemo (Finland) –MITC (Denmark), and –Femtio Procent Data (Sweden). Wendy Chisholm from the W3C, co-editor of WCAG 2.0


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