with Professor Jeffrey Bigham

9.5.17 — 
Class Notes

Web Content Accessibility:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (providing alternatives to visual/oral/etc content)
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) + its applications
  • Many other international regulations based on WCAG
  • WCAG became a big deal when visuals were introduced to the web (early on, browsers were text-based)
  • 2014: WAI-ARIA — Web Accessibility Initiative, Accessible Rich Internet Applications — websites weren’t necessarily static anymore, more app-like
  • *** Wendy Chisholm, Trace R&D Center (HCI researchers) — early accessibility professionals (from the 90s)
  • WCAG 1.0 updated to be quantifiable: i.e. WCAG 2.0 specifies contrast between foreground and background colour ratio must be 4.5:1; three flashes below threshold (instead of don’t let screen flicker), etc
  • Enabled scripting — providing client-side validation
  • Content is not just accessible to user, but also to the computer
  • Automatic accessibility: WAVE (browser extension)

WAVE Analysis:

We used a tool called “WAVE” which helps to break down accessibility errors on existing websites.

It’s ironic that the tool itself has accessibility issues? And basic usability issues.

Is the alt text for this image specific enough? Is it relevant / redundant? We must take precaution when writing alt text, to make sure that it’s concise but also informative.

Analysis of (Desktop):

with Bettina Chou

List of Accessibility Issues:

9.7.17 — 
Class Notes
“A lot of accessibility is available, but time-consuming and difficult. Perhaps we should be thinking about how we can make accessibility easier.”

Project 2

NVDA — non-visual …access?

T.B. Ramen??? Emacspeak

Firevox Chromevox

9.14.17 — 
Class Notes


Speech Recognition:

  • pace of speech can alter one’s ability to comprehend
  • John Moschitta


9.19.17 — 
Class Notes

This week: Screenreaders

Q: When blind users type, the document is often unformatted. Is it necessary to format the written content?

Risk-free exploration: two-tap trigger to open application — one-tap to select app and read app name

Remove visual space:

Rotor Window:

  • Voiceover — Ctrl+option+‘u’
  • Shows the separated element categories into tables


Currently, the screenreader would read out the element type then the content. (e.g. hello would be read as “link hello”)

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