Using Screen Readers to Reinforce Web Accessibility EducationBy Freire, Andre P.; Paiva, Deborah M. B.; Turine, Marcelo A. S.; Fortes, Renata P. M.; ITiCSE ’07 - Proceedings of the 12th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education,
Publication Date: 2006
Discusses the integration of screen readers into Web accessibility education courses. The course, offered to computer science students, introduced concepts of accessibility, universal design, assistive technology, accessibility law, and techniques and guidelines for both creating and evaluating accessible web design. Students used DOSVOX, a screen reader that offered Brazilian Portuguese. Using DOSVOX, students were trained to perform the basic tasks on a navigator, such as open a page, open links, and use forms. In a second activity, students turned off computer displays or wore blindfolds to interact with familiar web sites. In a third activity, students used WCAG guidelines to perform an accessibility evaluation on a web site containing XHTML, framesets, pages with content, and pages containing only links. Students used conventional browsers, DOSVOX, and Hera, an automated evaluation tool. Students’ ability to identify accessibility issues increased significantly after using the screen reader. Researchers noted that using screen readers as part of the course familiarized students with barriers experienced by computer users with disabilities and increased their comprehension of accessibility guidelines.
Published by: Association for Computing Machinery (Website:http://www.acm.org)
SIGCSE (ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) (Web Site: http://sigcse.org )