Adapting Interfaces to Suit Our Senses

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) at the Technical University of Lisbon (UTL) in Lisbon. It was about Deep Accessibility and how we should think about adapting interfaces to suit our senses. Here are my slides and two entries in the style of a Tiny Transactions on Computer Science (TinyToCS); “the premier venue for computer science research of 140 characters or less”.

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The Uptake of Web 2.0 Technologies, and its Impact on Visually Disabled Users

Our analysis shows that for the most popular 500 sites, JavaScript is used in 93%, Flash in 27% and about one-third (30%) use XMLHttpRequest, a technology used to generate dynamic updates. Uptake of XMLHttpRequest is approximately 2.3% per year across a random selection of 500 sites and is probably higher in the most popular sites. So, when examining dynamic updates from the perspective of visually disabled users, evidence suggests that, at best, most users can currently reach updated content, but they must do so manually, and are rarely given any automated indication that any update has occurred. With technologies enabling dynamic updating of content currently deployed in about 30% of the most popular sites, and increasing annually, action is urgently required if visually disabled users are to be able to use the Web.

An Online Health & Social Support System for People With Lung Cancer

Or rather – “A cross-disciplinary approach to identifying requirements for an online health and social support system for people with lung cancer”. This was our submission to the ACM ASSETS 2012 Conference, but unfortunately was rejected – to some extent because it didn’t fit a limited -in my opinion- view of the definition of accessibility and its link with disability.

Web Accessibility Metrics W3C WAI Report

Web accessibility metrics are an invaluable tool for researchers, developers, governmental agencies and end users. Accessibility metrics help indicate the accessibility level of websites, including the accessibility level of individual websites, or even large-scale surveys of the accessibility of many websites. Recently, a plethora of metrics has been released to complement the A, AA, and AAA Levels measurement used by the WAI guidelines. However, the validity and reliability of most of these metrics are unknown and those making use of them are taking the risk of using inappropriate metrics. In order to address these concerns, this note provides a framework that considers validity, reliability, sensitivity, adequacy and complexity as the main qualities that a metric should have.