WWW2009 EPrints

Improving interaction via screen reader using ARIA: an example

This item is a Paper in the Developers track.

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An interface that conforms to W3C ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) suite would overcome accessibility and usability problems that prevent disabled users from actively contributing to the collaborative growth of knowledge. In a previous phase of our study we first identified problems of interaction via screen reader with Wikipedia [2], then proposed an ARIA-based modified Wikipedia editing page [1]. At this stage we only focused on the main content for editing/formatting purposes (using roles). To evaluate the effectiveness of an ARIA-based formatting toolbar we only dealt with the main content of the editing page, not the navigation and footer sections. The next step using ARIA is to introduce landmarks (regions) and use the “flowto” property to be able to change the order of how page content is announced via screen reader. In this way the new UI becomes functionally equivalent to the original Wikipedia editing page and its appearance is very similar (apart from an additional combobox instead of a list of links), but usability is greatly enhanced. In this demo we will show the interaction via Jaws screen reader using both the original and the proposed Wikipedia editing pages.

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This website has been set up for WWW2009 by Christopher Gutteridge of the University of Southampton, using our EPrints software.


We (Southampton EPrints Project) intend to preserve the files and HTML pages of this site for many years, however we will turn it into flat files for long term preservation. This means that at some point in the months after the conference the search, metadata-export, JSON interface, OAI etc. will be disabled as we "fossilize" the site. Please plan accordingly. Feel free to ask nicely for us to keep the dynamic site online longer if there's a rally good (or cool) use for it... [this has now happened, this site is now static]