Prof. Jude T. Lubega | ICT & Management Consultant, Professor, Practitioner and Rotarian​

A web design framework for improved accessibility for people with disabilities (WDFAD).

The Authors:

Baguma, R. and Lubega, J. T. (

Publication Type: Journal Paper   |    No. of Views: 393 views

Year of Publication: 2008

Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as the World Wide Web (WWW) has increasingly become embedded in everyday life and is progressively becoming indispensable for public, business, personal efficiency or even improvement of livelihoods [1]. Web users including People with Disabilities (PWDs) can conveniently undertake a number of tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. But many Web applications such as e-learning, e-commerce and e-government are not accessible to PWDs including the blind. Through Web accessibility guidelines, Web developers can develop Web applications that are accessible to PWDs. However, majority of the available accessibility guidelines are difficult to integrate into existing developer workflows and rarely offer specific suggestions that are developer oriented. In this paper, we propose a Web Design Framework for Improved Accessibility for People with Disabilities (WDFAD). The WDFAD provides precise guidelines on how to develop Web applications that are accessible to PWDs particularly the blind. These are packaged according to the three components of Web applications namely; content, navigation and user interface. Using constructs of the Non Functional Requirements (NFR) Framework, Web accessibility design objectives are represented as primary goals and sub goals. The primary goals represent the high level accessibility design objectives, while the sub goals represent the requirements that need to be met in the Web development process in order to meet each primary goal. WDFAD also illustrates the overlaps between the process of meeting each primary goal. This unveils the optimal ways of achieving Web accessibility during Web design. The precise nature of WDFAD and its packaging according to the main components of Web applications makes Web accessibility requirements potentially easier to understand and apply by Web developers. Web Developers prefer precise and familiar tools due to their busy work life and daily interface and expression in formal instructions. In addition, the global versus local classification of Web accessibility requirements in WDFAD modularizes the web accessibility guidelines hence making them easier to understand, apply and update.