University of MinhoSchool of Engineering Departament of Computer Science
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A Different Approach to Real Web Accessibility
António Ramires Fernandes, F. Mário Martins, Hugo Paredes & Jorge Pereira

In Constantine Stephanidis, editor(s), Proceedings of HCI International 2001, 1st International Conference onUniversal Access in HCI, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Vol. 3, pages 723-727, New Orleans, USA. August, 2001.

ISBN: 0-8058-3609-8


Abstract

Accessibility is sometimes taken for granted, however for people with certain disabilities there are still a number of obstacles between them and the Information Society. At a time where the Information Society is becoming more and more important it is imperative to make sure that no one is left out. The web is becoming the centerpiece of this new information age; therefore if the sentence <93>Information Society for All<94> is to have any meaning then the web must be accessible to everyone. Nevertheless the web is turning into a showcase for designers and technology experts. Although this is pushing many people to the web it does drive some sectors away. People with specific disabilities, namely the blind community, find it harder and harder to read common web pages. This paper reports on a work on a talking browser showing some features that either are not yet widely implemented or, in some cases, have never been reported. Furthermore a new approach is presented, based on information extraction scripts for template urls, to provide real accessibility for blind users. This latter approach, although restricted to a small subset of the web by its nature, aims at giving blind users further views of a web page which will provide them with a clean extraction of the main information on a web page.