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W4A Tables of Contents: 040506070809101112131415

Proceedings of the 2015 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A)

Fullname:W4A'15: Web for All Conference
Note:Addressing Information Barriers
Editors:Luis Carriço; Silvia Mirri; Tiago Guerreiro; Peter Thiessen
Location:Florence, Italy
Dates:2015-May-18 to 2015-May-20
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3342-9; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: W4A15
Papers:41
Links:Conference Website
  1. Human computation
  2. Learning and language
  3. Transcoding and automation
  4. W4A camp report
  5. After dinner "William Loughborough" speech
  6. Evaluation and sampling
  7. Adaptation
  8. End-user tools
  9. The Paciello group accessibility challenge
  10. Wearables, tactiles and mobiles
  11. Standards and best practices
  12. Google doctoral consortium
Sense and sensibility: smartphones and wearable technologies to support seniors BIBAFull-Text 1
  Lorenzo Chiari
Smartphones and wearable embedded systems are ever more popular as ecological probes to learn about the ageing process or unobtrusive aids to support seniors in their daily life activities and prevent falls and frailty. What have we learnt so far by this unprecedented exposure of seniors to technologies, at the border between epidemiology, prevention and care?

Human computation

CAN: composable accessibility infrastructure via data-driven crowdsourcing BIBAFull-Text 2
  Yun Huang; Brian Dobreski; Bijay Bhaskar Deo; Jiahang Xin; Natã Miccael Barbosa; Yang Wang; Jeffrey P. Bigham
Despite persistent effort, many web pages are still not accessible to everyone. Fixing web accessibility problems can be complicated. Developers need to have extensive knowledge not only of possible accessibility problems but also of approaches for fixing them. This paper is about using the large number of accessibility issues on real websites and crowd-sourced fixes for them as a unique source of learning materials for web developers to learn how to build accessible components in a cost-efficient manner. In this paper, we present the design, development and study of CAN (Composable Accessibility Infrastructure), a crowdsourcing infrastructure that collects web accessibility issues and their fixes, dynamically composes solutions on-the-fly, and delivers the crowd-sourced content as teaching materials. Our unique CAN user interaction and system design enables end users with disabilities to both benefit from and contribute to the system without additional effort in their daily web browsing, and allows web developers to experience real accessibility issues and initiate a learning process with first-hand materials. CAN also provides an opportunity for data-driven discovery of the common implementation practices that cause accessibility issues. We show how CAN addresses a set of accessibility issues on the top 100 popular websites. We also present our user study results where web developers who had varying knowledge of web accessibility all found our system an effective and interesting platform to learning web accessibility.
SmartWrap: seeing datasets with the crowd's eyes BIBAFull-Text 3
  Steven Gardiner; Anthony Tomasic; John Zimmerman
The web contains many datasets presented visually, whose lack of semantic markup renders them difficult to understand and navigate using a screen reader. In this work, we explore the possibility of understanding the semantics of web datasets by asking sighted web users to manually scrape web pages into spreadsheets. Web users constitute a huge population of potential workers, but most are not programmers and may have difficulty understanding and communicating the abstractions involved in labeling web datasets. We present the design of a tool we call SmartWrap that directs the manual scraping work of everyday end users, explicitly including nonprogrammers, towards the construction of reusable programs, called wrappers, that map the scraped website into a structured dataset. To engage with nontechnical end users, we designed the tool to use very simple interactions. We present a user study validating that users with a variety of technical backgrounds were able to use it to construct wrappers. We also validate the SmartWrap approach to acquiring wrappers for a large part of the web by evaluating wrappers contributed by MTurk users using the tool. From the MTurk work we derive estimates for the costs of eliciting wrappers from the crowdworkers for a large proportion of the sampled datasets, and an estimate of what proportion of web datasets can be wrapped by crowdworkers using the tool. We also report some evidence that web users will contribute dataset semantics to the system without pay, motivated either to improve web accessibility or to expedite their own scraping tasks.
Measuring text simplification with the crowd BIBAFull-Text 4
  Walter S. Lasecki; Luz Rello; Jeffrey P. Bigham
Text can often be complex and difficult to read, especially for people with cognitive impairments or low literacy skills. Text simplification is a process that reduces the complexity of both wording and structure in a sentence, while retaining its meaning. However, this is currently a challenging task for machines, and thus, providing effective on-demand text simplification to those who need it remains an unsolved problem. Even evaluating the simplicity of text remains a challenging problem for both computers, which cannot understand the meaning of text, and humans, who often struggle to agree on what constitutes a good simplification.
   This paper focuses on the evaluation of English text simplification using the crowd. We show that leveraging crowds can result in a collective decision that is accurate and converges to a consensus rating. Our results from 2,500 crowd annotations show that the crowd can effectively rate levels of simplicity. This may allow simplification systems and system builders to get better feedback about how well content is being simplified, as compared to standard measures which classify content into 'simplified' or 'not simplified' categories. Our study provides evidence that the crowd could be used to evaluate English text simplification, as well as to create simplified text in future work.
Evaluation of real-time captioning by machine recognition with human support BIBAFull-Text 5
  Hironobu Takagi; Takashi Itoh; Kaoru Shinkawa
Verbal meetings are important at work, but employees who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) find it difficult to participate. Manual real-time captioning is a solution, but professional stenographers are too expensive for routine use. We are exploring the possibilities of real-time captioning that combines Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and human capabilities, which can dramatically decrease these costs and thus improve the lives of DHH employees. We developed a flexible ASR-based real-time captioning tool that can be used by non-expert captioners to correct the recognized text in practical workplace situations. In this paper, we will report on our early results, focusing on accuracy and latency.

Learning and language

End-to-end solution for accessible chemical diagrams BIBAFull-Text 6
  Volker Sorge; Mark Lee; Sandy Wilkinson
Chemical diagrams are an important means of conveying information in chemistry and biosciences to students, starting as early as secondary school. But even in electronic teaching material, diagrams are commonly given as bitmap graphics leaving them inaccessible for visually impaired learners. We present an end-to-end solution to making these diagrams Web accessible, by employing image analysis solutions to recognise and semantically analyse diagrams, and by regenerating them in a format that makes them amenable to assistive technology. We provide software tools that allow readers to interactively engage with diagrams by exploring them step-wise and on different layers, enabling aural rendering of diagrams and their individual components together with highlighting and magnification to assist readers with low vision or learning difficulties. Our technology builds on open standards, supporting a number of computing platforms, browsers, and screen readers, and is extensible to diagrams in other STEM subjects.
A plug-in to aid online reading in Spanish BIBAFull-Text 7
  Luz Rello; Roberto Carlini; Ricardo Baeza-Yates; Jeffrey P. Bigham
Reading text on the Web is a challenging task for many people, such as those with cognitive impairments, reading difficulties or people who are learning a new language. In this paper we present a web browser plug-in to help with reading Spanish text on the Web. The plug-in is freely available for Chrome and presents definitions and simpler synonyms on demand for the selected web text. The tool was modified following the suggestions of 5 people (2 with diagnosed dyslexia) who tested the tool using the think aloud protocol and undertook a subsequent interview.
Responsive design for personalised subtitles BIBAFull-Text 8
  Chris J. Hughes; Mike Armstrong; Rhianne Jones; Michael Crabb
The Internet has continued to evolve, becoming increasingly media rich. It is now a major platform for video content, which is available to a variety of users across a range of devices. Subtitles enhance this experience for many users. However, subtitling techniques are still based on early television systems, which impose limitations on font type, size and line length. These are no longer appropriate in the context of a modern web-based culture.
   In this paper we describe a new approach to displaying subtitles alongside the video content. This follows the responsive web design paradigm enabling subtitles to be formatted appropriately for different devices whilst respecting the requirements and preferences of the viewer. We present a prototype responsive video player, and report initial results from a study to evaluate the value perceived by regular subtitle users.
Dyslexia and web accessibility: synergies and challenges BIBAFull-Text 9
  Luz Rello
This paper reviews the main challenges of studying dyslexia for web accessibility. These are: (1) measuring the impact of dyslexia in the population; (2) the limitations of the up-to-date studies; and (3) including dyslexia in the Web accessibility guidelines. While some aspects are already addressed by the guidelines, we propose the inclusion of simple recommendations for typeface and font size that would benefit both people with and without dyslexia. We also suggest a change in the current methodologies to overcome up-to-date research limitations using larger and more representative datasets.

Transcoding and automation

Reconciling user and designer preferences in adapting web pages for people with low vision BIBAFull-Text 10
  Yoann Bonavero; Marianne Huchard; Michel Meynard
The web has become a major tool for communication, services and an outstanding source of knowledge. It has also grown in complexity, and end-users may experience difficulties in reading and acquiring good understanding of some overly complex or poorly designed web pages. This observation is even more valid for people with visual disabilities. In this paper, we focus on people with low or weakening vision, for whom we propose to adapt web pages to their needs, while preserving the spirit of the original design. In this context, obtaining a web page adaptation in a very short time may be a difficult problem, because user and designer needs and preferences may contradict each other, and because there may be a large number of adaptation possibilities. Finding a relevant adaptation in a large search space can hardly be done by an algorithm which computes and assesses all possible solutions, which brings us to consider evolutionary algorithms. A characteristic of our problem is to consider a set of preferences, each being implemented by an evaluation function. This optimization problem can be dealt with multiobjective genetic algorithms, including the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) and its next version (NSGA-III). NSGA-III has been recently introduced to address many-objective optimization problems (having more that four objectives). We compare NSGA-II and NSGA-III performances in the context of adapting web pages in accordance to a set of preferences. The comparison is based on running time, number of generations and quality of computed adaptation (number of satisfied objectives). We also show the importance of several parameters including population size, crossover/mutation probability, and the opportunity to aggregate objective functions. From the obtained results, we conclude that the approach is feasible and effective on realistic web pages, especially with NSGA-III.
Complexities of practical web automation BIBAFull-Text 11
  Yury Puzis; Yevgen Borodin; I. V. Ramakrishnan
Web automation, a process of automating browsing actions on behalf of the user, has the potential to bridge the divide between the ways visually-impaired and sighted people access the Web. The proliferation of portable small-screen devices (smartphones, smart watches, etc.) presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the development of a new generation of automated non-visual user interfaces for sighted users. The goal of this paper is to provide guidance for the designers of future user interface automation systems. In this paper, we systematize and analyze the complexities involved in building a practical, usable, and accessible system for web automation. We review the published literature and present lessons learned from the authors' own years of experience in developing novel approaches to web automation for visually-impaired Web users.
"Old habits die hard!": eyetracking based experiential transcoding: a study with mobile users BIBAFull-Text 12
  Elgin Akpinar; Yeliz Yesilada
Experiential transcoding aims to transcode web pages into more accessible forms based on the understanding of users' experience. Previous studies show that transcoding can improve interaction of both disabled and small screen device users. However, there is not much research in understanding the effects of experiential transcoding. In this paper, we present an eyetracking based transcoding approach and a user study with small screen device users that compare their experiences and performance on original web pages against transcoded ones. In particular, we investigate the satisfaction, performance, and also the effect of the complexity of the web pages to users' perception. Even though our participants performed better with transcoded web pages, our study shows that "old habits die hard!" -- although people are not satisfied with their current small screen device web browsing support, they still manage to use it and look for similar support in the transcoded versions. Therefore, this study suggests that transcoding needs to be individualized and personalized to take into account people's browsing habits.

W4A camp report

W4A camp report 2014 edition BIBAFull-Text 13
  Giorgio Brajnik
The usual unconference W4A Camp was held at the end of the conference, when we gathered in an informal place and got engaged in informal discussions over issues that we deemed important for us, for our work, for research, and for accessibility in general.
   Three main themes emerged. One deals with the difficulty of performing experiments with older adults, and the kind of emotional accessibility barriers that need to be tackled. A second topic deals with what is to be considered "accessibility" and what not; in particular whether social, economic, cultural, situational impairments should be included under the term "accessibility" or not. Finally accessibility of the EPUB 3.0 format was discussed as well as the opportunity to tag user abilities rather than disabilities.

After dinner "William Loughborough" speech

Riches beyond measure: a new frontier in web accessibility BIBAFull-Text 14
  Kevin Carey
As straightforward accessibility problems are being steadily addressed through generic products -- TTS, STT, switch and hearing aid compatibility -- we face four major challenges: harnessing machine intelligence to accelerate data capture; promoting content creation; switching from campaigning for change to creating and selling solutions; and protecting vulnerable people from ruthless personal/medical data exploitation.

Evaluation and sampling

DOM block clustering for enhanced sampling and evaluation BIBAFull-Text 15
  Simon Harper; Anwar Ahmad Moon; Markel Vigo; Giorgio Brajnik; Yeliz Yesilada
Large websites are difficult to evaluate for Web Accessibility compliance due to the shear number of pages, the inaccuracy of current Web evaluation engines, and the W3C stated need to include human evaluators within the testing regime. This makes evaluating large websites all-but technically unfeasible. Therefore, sampling of the pages becomes a critical first step in the evaluation process. Current methods rely on drawing random samples, best guess samples, or convenience samples. In all cases the evaluation results cannot be trusted because the underlying structure and nature of the site are not known; they are missing 'website demographics'. By understanding the quantifiable statistics of a given population of pages we are better able to decide on the coverage we need for a full review, as well as the sample we need to draw in order to enact an evaluation. Our solution is to crawl a website comparing, and then clustering, the pages discovered based on Document Object Model block level similarity. This technique can be useful in reducing very large sites to a more manageable size, and allowing an 80% coverage by evaluating between ≈0.1-4% of pages; additionally, by refining our clustering algorithm, we discuss how this could be reduced further.
Detecting readers with dyslexia using machine learning with eye tracking measures BIBAFull-Text 16
  Luz Rello; Miguel Ballesteros
Worldwide, around 10% of the population has dyslexia, a specific learning disorder. Most of previous eye tracking experiments with people with and without dyslexia have found differences between populations suggesting that eye movements reflect the difficulties of individuals with dyslexia. In this paper, we present the first statistical model to predict readers with and without dyslexia using eye tracking measures. The model is trained and evaluated in a 10-fold cross experiment with a dataset composed of 1,135 readings of people with and without dyslexia that were recorded with an eye tracker. Our model, based on a Support Vector Machine binary classifier, reaches 80.18% accuracy using the most informative features. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that eye tracking measures are used to predict automatically readers with dyslexia using machine learning.
Unlocking the potential of web localizers as contributors to image accessibility: what do evaluation tools have to offer? BIBAFull-Text 17
  Silvia Rodríguez Vázquez
Creating appropriate text alternatives to render images accessible in the web is a shared responsibility among all actors involved in the web development cycle, including web localization professionals. However, they often lack the knowledge needed to correctly transfer image accessibility across different website language versions. In this paper, we provide insight into translators' performance as regards their accessibility achievements during text alternatives adaptation from English into French. While our work does not yet return conclusive results, preliminary findings suggest that the combination of both specialized and general web accessibility evaluation tools can help web localizers bridge the knowledge gap and potentially produce text alternatives of higher quality.
An optimal sampling method for web accessibility quantitative metric BIBAFull-Text 18
  Mengni Zhang; Can Wang; Jiajun Bu; Zhi Yu; Yi Lu; Ruijie Zhang; Chun Chen
When evaluating the accessibility of a website, we usually resort to sampling methods to reduce the cost of evaluation. In this kind of approaches, a small subset of pages in a website are chosen for evaluating the accessibility value of the whole website. Good sampling quality means the selected subset can represent well the accessibility level of the whole website, i.e. minimizing the accessibility evaluation difference between the whole site and the sampled subset. As existing studies show the accuracy of sampling methods depends heavily on the metric, we propose in this paper a specific sampling method OPS-WAQM that is optimized for Web Accessibility Quantitative Metric (WAQM). OPS-WAQM minimizes the sampling error by choosing the optimal sample numbers in different page depth layers. A greedy algorithm is proposed to approximately solve the optimization problem in an efficient way. We use a dataset of 20 websites, 365780 web pages to validate our method. Experimental results show that our sampling method is effective for web accessibility evaluation.

Adaptation

Understanding design considerations for adaptive user interfaces for accessible pointing with older and younger adults BIBAFull-Text 19
  Aqueasha Martin-Hammond; Abdullah Ali; Catherine Hornback; Amy K. Hurst
The Internet has become an important tool for many aspects of modern life. However, some individuals may experience challenges accessing the Internet if they have difficulty accurately controlling a pointing device. These pointing problems can vary in severity and frequency and may be caused by a motor impairment, limited hand dexterity, or fatigue. We believe that adaptive user interfaces (AUIs) offer a unique solution to detect and accommodate an individual's current pointing behavior. While past work has explored the implementation of detecting pointing challenges and designing adaptations, little has been done to understand how this population would like to interact with this software. In this paper, we present the results from participatory design sessions with older and younger adults that highlight their preferences for novel AUIs. We found diverse preferences and attitudes towards how AUIs notify a user of their current performance, and how they should adapt to pointing behavior. We present these diverse opinions as three personas that can be applied to future design of any AUI.
Optimus web: selective delivery of desktop or mobile web pages BIBAFull-Text 20
  Nádia Fernandes; Tiago Guerreiro; Diogo Marques; Luís Carriço
We propose a system that selectively delivers the most accessible representations of a website to the end-user. To do so, we resort to a Web proxy that, using the results of an automatic evaluator, changes HTTP requests and delivers the most suitable available representation. The accessibility evaluator uses WCAG 2.0 [1] guidelines and considers pages after browser interpretation. We performed a user study with 19 blind participants where different representations of website were used. Results show that user performance correlates with the computed accessibility levels, and that for different websites either mobile or desktop versions may turn out to be more accessible. Expert users seem to perform independently from the level of accessibility of the pages. These results suggest that a proxy that selectively delivers Web page representations is feasible and that future work should also consider the profile of the user for selection.
Look Ma, no ARIA: generic accessible interfaces for web widgets BIBAFull-Text 21
  Valentyn Melnyk; Vikas Ashok; Valentyn Melnyk; Yury Puzis; Yevgen Borodin; Andrii Soviak; I. V. Ramakrishnan
Once simple and static, many web pages have now evolved into complex web applications. Hundreds of web development libraries provide ready-to-use custom widgets, which can be further customized to fit the needs of individual web applications. Web developers are supposed to use ARIA specifications to make widgets accessible to screen readers; however, ARIA markup is often used incorrectly and inconsistently, and sometimes even missing in webpages altogether. Given a wide selection of widgets and a lack of proper ARIA support, accessing content of custom widgets in web pages with screen readers has been a challenge for blind users. As a result, blind users cannot benefit from the convenience of using these widgets or, even worse, get stuck on inaccessible content. In our previous work, we showed that custom dynamic widgets could be automatically detected and classified as soon as they appear in web pages. In this paper, we propose to make such widgets accessible by providing generic interfaces for widgets of a particular class. We show how this can be accomplished on the example of Web Chat widget. To demonstrate the usability of the resulting chat interface, we report on the results of a user study with 18 blind screen-reader users.

End-user tools

Capti-speak: a speech-enabled web screen reader BIBAFull-Text 22
  Vikas Ashok; Yevgen Borodin; Yury Puzis; I. V. Ramakrishnan
People with vision impairments interact with web pages via screen readers that provide keyboard shortcuts for navigating through the content. However, web browsing with screen readers can be a frustrating experience mainly due to time and effort spent on locating the desired content through the extensive use of keyboard shortcuts. This gets even worse if users have limited shortcut vocabulary or are not familiar with the structure of a particular webpage. Augmenting screen readers with a speech input interface has the potential to alleviate the above limitations.
   This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of Capti-Speak, a speech-enabled screen reader for web browsing, capable of translating speech utterances into browsing actions, executing the actions, and providing audio feedback. The novelty of Capti-Speak is that it leverages a custom dialog model, designed exclusively for non-visual web access, for interpreting speech utterances. A user study with 20 blind subjects showed that Capti-Speak was significantly more usable and efficient compared to the regular screen reader, especially for ad-hoc browsing, searching, and navigating to the content of interest.
Empathic communication of accessibility barriers in web 2.0 editing BIBAFull-Text 23
  Afra Pascual; Mireia Ribera; Toni Granollers
This article presents a proposal for avoiding accessibility errors in Web 2.0 contexts through a new concept of web editor that helps non-technical content writers to evaluate and repair accessibility errors. This proposal implements accessibility guidelines and pays special attention to communication issues following the semiotic engineering principles. The communication of accessibility errors is made through several disabled "personas" enabling the writer to empathize with the user through simulation tools. A proof-of-concept prototype was created and showed quite good results when tested on 8 users in comparison with a traditional evaluation tool.

The Paciello group accessibility challenge

A web based multi-linguists symbol-to-text AAC application BIBAFull-Text 24
  Chaohai Ding; Nawar Halabi; Lama Al-Zaben; Yunjia Li; E. A. Draffan; Mike Wald
There are several commercial or freely available symbol sets for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) use; all these symbol sets have the same issue when trying to use them in a multiple lingual setting. Symbol Dragoman is a Web based application that aims to allow the user who has no spoken language and uses pictograms or images to communicate in Arabic or English. It combines chosen 'symbols' in any way they want to produce a sentence that can be read or heard in both languages with the potential of offering any combination of languages in the future.
Refreshable Braille oral appliance BIBAFull-Text 25
  M. A. Naomi Jobrack
The "Refreshable Braille Oral Appliance" (or RBOA) is a refreshable display embedded in an oral retainer connected to a wireless microphone and through a smart phone application.
   Previous research was conducted as an investigation to determine if Braille could be read with the tongue. Results showed promise for providing deaf persons with assistive technology to assist in understanding spoken language. Potential other uses of such a technology include any use of reading Braille in an unobtrusive manner through a hidden oral appliance and reading Braille or refreshable display content using the tongue. An oral appliance could also be used as a control for any remote controllable technology such as lights, televisions, door locks, climate control, and wheelchairs.
   The research included a tactile comparison between the index fingers and the tongue to discover if the tongue had enough sensitivity to read Braille. Ten participants, five sighted and five blind, experienced with Braille, were asked to compare Braille letters in a mixed design. The participants compared Braille letters between the tips of the index fingers of both hands. They also compared the Braille stimulus between their dominant index finger and their tongue. A 2 × 2 mixed analysis of variance revealed that participants could read Braille with their tongues as easily as they could with their non-dominant index finger. Braille readers matched more letters than sighted participants in both conditions, but the difference was not significant.
Acrolinx: a controlled-language checker turned into an accessibility evaluation tool for image text alternatives BIBAFull-Text 26
  Silvia Rodríguez Vázquez; Sabine Lehmann
Producing appropriate text alternatives for images in the web is a widely extended accessibility recommendation which, if successfully implemented, facilitates an enhanced web experience for all users, particularly for the visually impaired. Typically, most web accessibility evaluation tools can detect the presence or absence of an alt attribute within the <img> element in a web page. Nevertheless, they rarely perform a deeper linguistic analysis of its content. In the present paper, we introduce Acrolinx, a state-of-the-art controlled-language checker for which we have developed an accessibility-oriented rule set for French, specifically designed to help content authors automatically verify the appropriateness of text alternatives for images.
A mean for communication between deaf and hearing pairs in inclusive educational settings: the Sessai app BIBAFull-Text 27
  Soraia Silva Prietch; Emanuel José dos Santos; Lucia Vilela Leite Filgueiras
In this paper, we describe an Android application, called Sessai, which was designed to serve as an alternative for communication between deaf and hearing pairs, specially, in inclusive educational settings. A brief description of potential users of Sessai, application usage scenarios, the Sessai app, and final considerations.
Browser-independent accessible math BIBAFull-Text 28
  Neil Soiffer
MathPlayer has been re-architected so that any assistive technology (AT) can use it to read math in any browser or other application. This new version enhances many of MathPlayer's existing features and adds unique navigation capabilities and braille math code support.

Wearables, tactiles and mobiles

Enhancing Android accessibility for users with hand tremor by reducing fine pointing and steady tapping BIBAFull-Text 29
  Yu Zhong; Astrid Weber; Casey Burkhardt; Phil Weaver; Jeffrey P. Bigham
Smartphones and tablets with touchscreen have demonstrated potential to support the needs of individuals with motor impairments such as hand tremor. However, those users still face major challenges with conventional touchscreen gestures. These challenges are mostly caused by the fine precision requirement to disambiguate between targets on small screens. To reduce the difficulty caused by hand tremor in combination with small touch targets on the screen, we developed an experimental system-wide assistive service called Touch Guard. It enables enhanced area touch and a series of complementary features. This service provides the enhanced area touch feature through two possible disambiguation modes: magnification and descriptive targets list. In a laboratory study with motor-impaired users, we compared both modes to conventional tapping and tested Touch Guard with real-world applications. Targets list based disambiguation was more successful, reducing the error rate by 65% compared to conventional tapping. In addition, several challenges and design implications were discovered when presenting new touchscreen interaction techniques to users with motor impairments. As the experimental product of an intern research project at Google, Touch Guard demonstrates broad potential for solving accessibility issues for people with hand tremor using their familiar mobile devices, instead of high-cost hardware.
HoliBraille: multipoint vibrotactile feedback on mobile devices BIBAFull-Text 30
  Hugo Nicolau; Kyle Montague; Tiago Guerreiro; André Rodrigues; Vicki L. Hanson
We propose HoliBraille, a system that enables Braille input and output on current mobile devices. We use vibrotactile motors combined with dampening materials in order to actuate directly on users' fingers. The prototype can be attached to current capacitive touchscreen devices enabling multipoint and localized feedback. HoliBraille can be leveraged in several applications including educational tools for learning Braille, as a communication device for deaf-blind people, and as a tactile feedback system for multitouch Braille input. We conducted a user study with 12 blind participants on Braille character discrimination. Results show that HoliBraille is effective in providing localized feedback; however, character discrimination performance is strongly related with number of simultaneous stimuli. We finish by discussing the obtained results and propose future research avenues to improve multipoint vibrotactile perception.
What not to wearable: using participatory workshops to explore wearable device form factors for blind users BIBAFull-Text 31
  Michele A. Williams; Erin Buehler; Amy Hurst; Shaun K. Kane
In this paper we document two participatory design workshops conducted with a team of eight visually impaired adults that explored features and form factors for a wearable navigation technology. We compare and contrast our experiences conducting a low-fidelity prototyping activity using office supplies and a medium-fidelity prototyping activity using electronic components and a scenario-based approach. While both sessions produced designs with similar features and form factors, participant engagement was much higher during the medium-fidelity session primarily due to the tangible materials used and the more directed structure of the activity. We present the resulting designs as well as recommendations for participatory design prototyping methods for wearable technology development, particularly for people with vision impairments.

Standards and best practices

Affordable web accessibility: a case for cheaper ARIA BIBAFull-Text 32
  Yury Puzis; Yevgen Borodin; Andrii Soviak; Valentyn Melnyk; I. V. Ramakrishnan
When a commercial entity designs a product, one of the major considerations is the cost of production. No matter how amazing a product idea is, how many features the product has, or how noble the cause is, most products will fail if they are too expensive for the target market or too expensive to compete in the market. Any website is, of course, a product; and web accessibility is often perceived as an added feature that costs extra money to develop. In this paper, we make an argument that the greatest weakness of WAI-ARIA, an accessibility specification for web developers, is the cost of its implementation. We argue that this cost, rather than specific technical constraints, may be the main culprit of the poor accessibility of many websites, except for the most popular ones, and of the slow progress in WAI-ARIA support in screen readers. We contend that the accessibility of the Web could be greatly improved if an affordable version of WAI-ARIA were to emerge. This can be achieved by: (a) extending the specification to increase its utility for a wider range of potential users, which will allow for economies of scale, and (b) refining the specification to make it both more cost effective for web development and more open to innovation in user-agent development. In this paper, we discuss accessible web development in the context of cost and identify potential areas of improvement.
Complementing standards by demonstrating commitment and progress BIBAFull-Text 33
  Sarah Horton; David Sloan; Henny Swan
Improving web accessibility can be challenging, particularly for organizations with large, complex digital estates and internal organizational structures. Efforts can be guided by technical standards, but there are shortcomings with treating accessibility for people with disabilities as a compliance effort. Using the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design as an approach to remediation of accessibility barriers in the built environment as a parallel, we explore an approach to improving digital accessibility that places value on conscious, pragmatic decision-making and sharing of evidence of progress.
Creating accessible PDFs for conference proceedings BIBAFull-Text 34
  Erin Brady; Yu Zhong; Jeffrey P. Bigham
A responsibility we have as researchers is to disseminate the results of our research widely. A primary way we do this is through research publications. When these publications are not accessible to everyone, some readers will be excluded and the impact of our research limited. In this paper, we explore this problem in two ways. First, we report on the accessibility of 1,811 papers in the technical program of several top conferences related to accessibility and human-computer interaction. Second, we reflect on our experience making papers accessible for any CHI 2015 author who requested it. We offer thoughts on research challenges and future work that may make our community's research more accessible.
Towards a unified definition of web accessibility BIBAFull-Text 35
  Helen Petrie; Andreas Savva; Christopher Power
To better understand what researchers and practitioners consider to be the key components of the definition of web accessibility and to propose a unified definition of web accessibility, we conducted an analysis of 50 definitions of web accessibility. The definitions were drawn from a range of books, papers, standards, guidelines and online sources, aimed at both practitioners and researchers, from the across the time period of web accessibility work, from 1996 to 2014 and from authors in 21 different countries. The analysis extracted six core concepts that are used in many definitions, which are incorporated into a unified definition of web accessibility as "all people, particularly disabled and older people, can use websites in a range of contexts of use, including mainstream and assistive technologies; to achieve this, websites need to be designed and developed to support usability across these contexts".

Google doctoral consortium

Semiotics contributions to accessible interface design BIBAFull-Text 36
  María Inés Laitano
The aim of this research is to show that a semiotic approach, similar to those who have already been applied in the HCI field, may contribute to design accessible interfaces. Comparing design solutions from a WCAG approach and from a semiotic approach, we show how the latter can contribute to a real communicational accessibility.
A4TV: assessing and ameliorating the accessibility of the ascending connected TV platforms BIBAFull-Text 37
  Daniel Costa
Connected Digital TV is an advanced broadcasting technology that provides a better experience in terms of picture and sound quality and enables multiple programming choices and interactive capabilities, while extending the reach of multimedia content by enabling access to Internet's multimedia content. Consumers perceive these benefits and are increasingly choosing Connected TV products: set-top boxes and TVs which have the capability to be connected to the Web. User motivation stems from the search for richer, more genuinely interactive experiences, of the type they are familiar with from Web browsing on home computers and Web applications on internet-enabled mobile devices. Given TV's reach, we envision the use of TV based applications by a wide range of the population, including people with different kinds of impairments. Thus, it is paramount to guarantee that everyone can access the same information in this medium. This paper describes the PhD's plan and the expected contributions to address this problem with special focus on visual impaired people.
Just-in-time cognitive assessment and task recommendation for individuals with cognitive impairments BIBAFull-Text 38
  Sean-Ryan Smith
For individuals with cognitive impairment (CI), the inability to effectively perform mental tasks required for independent daily living can severely limit one's functionality in their daily living. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to develop an online just-in-time assessment of an individual's cognitive state in a way that is the least intrusive but is situated in the relevant contexts and3asks at hand, e.g., taking medication, driving or filing in tax. This assessment is then fed into recommended tasks that the users are most likely to be able to do. The biggest challenge in this work is determining the best combination and timing of the administration of the cognitive assessments as the recommendation will be only as good as the reliability and validity of the assessment results. I will first recruit and screen individuals with CI from a stroke and disability learning center. Through standardized requirement gathering methodologies, I will assess the user needs and explore system design requirements. Furthermore, system development, user testing, and analysis will be conducted following user driven design methodologies. Long-term system deployment for user testing in natural settings and contexts will be concluded for final analysis and reporting results.
Linked data-driven decision support for accessible travelling BIBAFull-Text 39
  Chaohai Ding; Mike Wald; Gary Wills
With the aim of addressing the gap between users' needs of accessible travelling and complex environmental barriers of physical places in the real world, this paper summarizes the research of investigating the use of Linked Data principles for enhanced accessible travelling decision support. Firstly, this paper reviews current research and projects to identify some problems and challenges. Then a conceptual model and the reference architecture of Linked Data-driven decision support system (DSS) for accessible travelling are proposed to address such problems to enhance the accessible travelling for people with disabilities (PwD), especially for people with mobility difficulties. As a result, this research would not only benefit PwD, but also contribute to the research of a novel model to address accessibility information barriers by applying the Linked Data principles to DSSs for enhanced accessible travelling.
Haptic gloves for audio-tactile web accessibility BIBAFull-Text 40
  Andrii Soviak
In this Doctoral Consortium paper, I propose to develop haptic gloves that would enable tactile web browsing for blind people. The gloves will be used with regular screen readers, and will provide users with the ability explore web pages by touch. Besides improving the usability and efficiency of web access, the gloves will also enable me to study tactile behavior of blind users.
Accessible on-line graphics BIBAFull-Text 41
  Anuradha Madugalla
Today's Internet contains a huge amount of resources and most of these resources include graphics. However, blind users fail to take the maximum advantage of these resources due to limitations in technology. Their devices (screen readers, voice synthesizers etc.) can only read textual content and fail miserably where graphics are involved. Therefore a robust method to help blind users understand on-line graphics would be of great benefit to them.