This 8 page paper examines literature on how the visually impaired can access the WWW. A thesis and study proposal are provided.
Bibliography lists 8 sources.
more visually impaired people will be empowered to use the WWW if they are taught how to use adaptive technologies. The problem is essentially that while there are some technologies
developed for the use of the World Wide Web by visually impaired people, it does not seem to be sufficient to support the general need for improved technologies to service
a larger area. Also, the people must be appropriately taught to use such technologies. While there are many technologies in the field, many web-based resources simply are not able
to provide accessibility, thus creating much frustration for those who are visually impaired (Byerley & Chambers, 2002). This is true even when those who are somewhat impaired use screen
readers to access the web (2002). People with visual impairments likely are first in line when it comes to the concern about inaccessibility (2002). After all, one needs his
or her eyes to see when they use computers. For someone who is close to being legally blind and/or has a disease such as retinitis pigmentosa, accessibility is possible but
accommodations are certainly needed. Of course, with the introduction of the net, there has been a lack of awareness regarding web design, not just regarding developers but also about firms
and institutions that purchase products that are web-based (2002). The problem seems to be significant enough to warrant a formal research effort. It is known that about
seven to ten million people are blind or visually impaired ("Employment," 2004). Further, there are access issues. For example, Burks (2004) provides a hypothetical case: "Consider the case of the
customer who wants free Internet access because they are disabled. They live in a remote area, and the long distance charges can be as high as 23 cents per minute.