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Editing Wikipedia Content by Screen Reader: Easier Interaction with ARIA

Buzzi M., Leporini B.

User Interfaces  Accessibility  Usability  Blind  Wikipedia  Screen reader 

Purpose. This study aims to improve Wikipedia usability for the blind and promote the application of standards relating to Web accessibility and usability. Method. First, accessibility and usability of Wikipedia home, search result and edit pages are analysed using the JAWS screen reader; next, suggestions for improving interaction are proposed and a new Wikipedia editing interface built. Most of the improvements were obtained using the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) suite, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) within the framework of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Last, a scenario of use compares interaction of blind people with the original and the modified interfaces. Results. Our study highlights that although all contents are accessible via screen reader, usability issues exist due to the user's difficulties when interacting with the interface. The scenario of use shows how building an editing interface with the W3C WAI-ARIA suite eliminates many obstacles that can prevent blind users from actively contributing to Wikipedia. Conclusion. The modified Wikipedia editing page is simpler to use via a screen reader than the original one because ARIA ensures a page overview, rapid navigation, and total control of what is happening in the interface.

Source: Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology (Print) 4 (2009): 264–275. doi:10.1080/17483100902903457

Publisher: Informa Healthcare, [London] , Regno Unito

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