Carnegie Mellon University
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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 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored 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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Copyright © 2005 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or © ACM, YYYY. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems {1-58113-998-5 (2005)}



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