Cloud Application Accessibility for Visually Impaired People

Project: Other

Project Details


The aim of this project is to improve the accessibility of cloud applications for visually impaired users of all ages and occupations, for both work and leisure. this aim is high priority for RNIB, a key collaborator

The pilot phase, now completed, was an internet survey of cloud use by visually impaired and normally sighted individuals. Constructing the survey also gave insihgt into the usability of survey construction and google doc and wordpress software. This phase was supported by a Nuffield Foundation 5 week grant to A level student. Jacob Kent-Ledger,

The proposed next phase will comprise a three way partnership between users, applications developers and accessibility tools developers to:

* monitor user activity and obtain active feedback of usage
* develop templates, editors and tools to make creating accessible Apps easy
* develop screen readers that read ALL guideline complaint content accessible

Layman's description

Visually impaired people should have the same access to Cloud Applications as normally sighted people. Cloud applications are applications that exist on remote sights that require internet access, such as googlemail, google calendar and google docs to create documents, as well as social software such as facebook.

The initial phase was an internet survey of current usage by visually impiared and normally sighted people.

Proposed future phases will monitor the usage and problems of curren applications; produce better tools for creating good cloud applications; and ensure screen readers that convert text, and navigation links to spoken words work as they should.

Key findings

Visually Impaired use Tablets & Smartphones - not only Windows
JAWs, the most used Windows screen reader, easier than NVDA
Apple Voiceover (free on iphone & ipad) was used by half the blind users with similar performance to Jaws
More than half of all respondents used gesture input, but Rotor was mainly used by blind respondents
Cloud Applications are more difficult for Visually Impaired Respondents, e.g.
Google word processor was tough for 72% visually impaired, 10% normal sighted
Social softwarewas toughe for 32% visually impaired, 4% normally sighted
Cloud more difficult than PC?: yes 77% visually impaired, 29% normally sighted
Cloud Implications: Not all bad
37% blind, 51% normally sighted thought cloud would make work easier!
visually impaired more concerned than normally sighted on security/accesibility
visually impaired less concerned than normally sighted on internet access

Effective start/end date3/07/12 → …


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