Accessibility: A Web Engineering Approach

Currently, the vast majority of web sites do not support accessibility for visually impaired users. Usually, these users have to rely on screen readers: applications that sequentially read the content of a web page in audio. Unfortunately, screen readers are not able to detect the meaning of the different page objects, and thus the implicit semantic knowledge conveyed in the presentation of the page is lost. One approach described in literature to tackle this problem, is the Dante approach, which allows semantic annotation of web pages to provide screen readers with extra (semantic) knowledge to better facilitate the audio presentation of a web page. Until now, such annotations were done manually, and failed for dynamic pages. In this paper, we combine the Dante approach with a web design method, WSDM, to fully automate the generation of the semantic annotation for visually impaired users. To do so, the semantic knowledge gathered during the design process is exploited, and the annotations are generated as a by-product of the design process, requiring no extra effort from the designer.
Publication Reference
Plessers, P., Casteleyn, S., Yesilada, Y., De Troyer, O., Stevens, R., Harper, S., Goble, C.: "Accessibility: A Web Engineering Approach", Proceedings of the 14th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2005), pp. 353 - 362, Eds. Allan Ellis, Tatsuya Hagino, Publ. ACM, ISBN 1-59593-046-9, Chiba, Japan (2005)