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Is Your Web Page Accessible? A Comparitive Study of Methods for Assessing Web Page Accessibility for the Blind

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posted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 by Jennifer Mankoff, Holly Fait, Tu Tran
Web access for users with disabilities is an important goal and challenging problem for web content developers and designers. This paper presents a comparison of different methods for finding accessibility problems affecting users who are blind. Our comparison focuses on techniques that might be of use to Web developers without accessibility experience, a large and important group that represents a major source of inaccessible pages. We compare a laboratory study with blind users to an automated tool, expert review by web designers with and without a screen reader, and remote testing by blind users. Multiple developers, using a screen reader, were most consistently successful at finding most classes of problems, and tended to find about 50% of known problems. Surprisingly, a remote study with blind users was one of the least effective methods. All of the techniques, however, had different, complementary strengths and weaknesses.


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