Internet Accessibility / Usability Resources A-E

Last updated: May 26, 2016

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Accessible Computer Hardware & Software

Last updated: March 3, 2015

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  • Access Technology Blog from the National Federation of the Blind
  • Adaptive Technology, Accessible Techcomm list of resources
  • American Printing House for the Blind The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is the world's largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.
  • Apple® Accessibility Features Vision built into all Macintosh computers provides adjustable keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, CloseView screen magnification software, Easy Access system software (StickyKeys, SlowKeys, MouseKeys), electronic documentation, key-repeat disable, text-to-speech synthesis and voice recognition (PlainTalk), sticky mouse, and visual alert cues. The VoiceOver spoken English interface for Mac OS X is a fully integrated, built-in screen reader technology providing access to the Macintosh through speech, audible cues, and keyboard navigation.
  • "A Few Notes on Buying a Computer" by Curtis Chong, Director of Technology, National Federation of the Blind, 2001
  • GW Micro provides computer-based speech products. GW Micro is the maker of Window-Eyes, Vocal-Eyes, speech recognition and speech synthesizer software, and braille printers
  • Humanware – see things differently computer tools that empower people to compete effectively in a sighted world
  • Kurzweil optical recognition products for Macintosh and Windows platforms
  • Low vision software Ai Squared maker of ZoomText magnification, and magnification with speech
  • MAGic Screen Magnification Software with Speech MAGic opens up a whole new world of computing to low vision users. Whether you are surfing the Web, creating a document, e-mailing, or engaging in social networking, MAGic provides you the tools you need to work more efficiently.
  • "Making Your Web Site Accessible to the Blind" by Curtis Chong, Director of Technology, National Federation of the Blind, 2008
  • Mayer-Johnson Hand Held Voice®, a dynamic screen voice recorder from Ability Research
  • RC Systems makers of Doubletalk speech synthesizers. RC Systems has been a market leader of low cost, high quality text-to-speech and voice synthesis products since 1983. You’ll find our voice synthesizers in a wide range of products, from talking ATMs to vending machines, and homeland security to space satellite telemetry systems.
  • Talking Clocks products from Assistech Special Needs

Internet Accessibility

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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Web Accessibility problems may involve

Reading disorders, learning disabilities, reading disabilities, thinking, remembering, sequencing disabilities, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Useability will be enhanced with illustrations, good graphics, organized content with headings, and visual cues for navigation.
Deafness and hard of hearing. Users may need assistive technology to read audio transcripts or view fully captioned multimedia content.
Physical disabilities, lack of a digit or hand, epilepsy, or short stature. Users may have limited strength, reach or manipulation, tremor, lack of sensation, inability to use a mouse, slow response time, or lack of fine muscle control. Users may need to use assistive technology to adapt the computer interface to their disability such as mouth sticks to type keyboard commands; eye-tracking software that uses eye movement for computer commands; height control for desktops, chairs, and keyboards; keyboards with raised ridges in-between the keys; and voice input.
Voice input, speech output, inability to speak, stutter, strong foreign accent, or speech impediment. Users may require an environmental noise filter to hear correctly, high quality noise-cancellation technology of the sound card and/or microphone, a faster CPU with enough memory for processing the speech without slowing it down, the ability to enter foreign words and phrases, technical and scientific terms, or other speech that is easily recognized by the software, or the user needs to pause mid-sentence to catch his/her breath or read from a manuscript.
Blindness, low vision, color-blindness, and lack of color perception. Users may require the use of a screen-reader application to feed Braille or text-to-speech browsers. Screen-reader applications read a Web page one line at a time, horizontally across the page. Screen readers may also be used by sighted users who don’t have sound on their computer or who don’t want to turn sound on in public places such as airplanes, libraries, or office cubicles.
Combination of disabilities
Deafblindness. Users may need a variety of input and output devices.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 750 million people with disabilities world wide. According to the U.S. Census, 54 million of these live in the United States and about 25 million of these have difficulty accessing the Internet. It is estimated that this population in the U.S. controls a discretionary income over $175 billion annually. Therefore, people with disabilities can have a powerful economic impact on several segments of the economy. With the aging Baby Boomers, these numbers will increase accessibility needs and their affluence will have a strong affect on market share for accessible devices and business’ return on investment (ROI) to provide accessible products and work environments.

Reference Books and Resources

There are several excellent books about creating and maintaining accessible Web pages. See the suggested reading list for general information and detailed reference books for your library that relate to the accessibility and usability of Web pages.

Find more resources using the Areas of Focus Internet Accessibility category search.