Web Accessibility

Powerful Essays
Web Accessibility for People with Physical Handicaps

Terry Martin
University of Phoenix
WEB410

Web Programming I

Suzy Stueben

June 27, 2005

Web Accessibility for People with Physical Handicaps

The world is becoming increasingly more aware and sensitive to the challenges facing the physically impaired. This is evident in the increase in special accommodations specifically meant to aid people with special needs in the ability to interact with society as if their conditions did not exist. From special parking to wheelchair accessible ramps and doors to Braille on elevators and automatic teller machines; a once handicap-hostile world is becoming less so every day. This holds true for the virtual world as well; particularly that of the World Wide Web. The paradox with all of these accommodations is threefold. First, is technology available to assist blind, deaf, and visually challenged web surfers? Second, why should the average web designer care about accessibility for challenged people? Third, what, if anything, can a Web designer do beyond technology to make websites more viewer, and especially special-need viewer friendly? This paper will shed light on these three questions and put into perspective how today’s Web design is becoming more inclusive to people with special needs as ever before.

Technological Constraints

Before any serious modifications to a structure or process can take place it is necessary to determine whether or not the technology exists that supports or allows such a change. In many cases throughout history and especially that of the Information Age, if there was a need for non-existent physical technology it was a short-lived void. The same holds true for technology designed to help the physically impaired enjoy and use the Internet, but the need to fill this void really became pressing as the World Wide Web evolved to include a viable and impressive e-commerce system.



References: Criterion507.com. (2005). About section 508. Retrieved June 27, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.criterion508.com/site/index.cfm?ContentName=about_section_508 Mardiros, C. (2005). Why make Web sites universally accessible? Mardiros Internet Marketing. Retrieved June 27, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.mardiros.net/univ-accessible.html Microsoft.com. (2005). Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK). Retrieved June 27, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5DAAE9C4-188C-4547-A9D6-1671132A39A1&displaylang=en&EventType=hp Mozdev.org. (2005). MozBraille Overview. Retrieved June 27, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://mozbraille.mozdev.org/index.html Schwarz, E. Hernault, G., Burger, D. (2001). BrailleSurf 4.0. Non Visual Interfaces and Accessibility. Pierre et Marie Curie University. Retrieved June 26, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.snv.jussieu.fr/inova/bs4/uk/index.htm Zajicek, M. (2001, 8 October). The SPEECH project. Oxford Brookes University:Department of Computing. Retrieved June 26, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/schools/cms/research/speech/btalk.htm!

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