Building accessible Rich Internet Applications
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During this project a set of guidelines aimed at smoothing the process of making accessible Rich Internet Applications (RIA) has been created, evaluated and updated. This was done by studying literature about issues regarding RIA accessibility and suggestions for solutions to these problems. The solutions were processed and made into guidelines. It has become clear that not all issues can be solved with technical remedies. Two main themes evolved: technology and process. The technology oriented solutions address what technical features can be used to enhance accessibility. They address problems users face dealing with dynamic and interactive user interfaces. The process oriented solutions address what is important to think of during the process of web development and creation of accessible applications. They deal with issues like the confusions and uncertainties that exist within development teams when working with accessibility. One of the largest challenges of this project has been making the guidelines concrete enough to be helpful, and balancing the level of concreteness with usefulness across projects and technology. The guidelines were evaluated by five participants working with web development and accessibility. Some attention was also given to what makes guidelines manageable to developers. It appears there are some definite steps one can take to make guidelines more usable. These guidelines were found to be useful, reliable and more manageable than existing guidelines. It was also believed they could contribute to build accessibility competence. In addition, many suggestions for changes for improvement were made. As a response to these findings several adjustments have been done, and a second version of the guidelines is presented as the result of this project. The second version of the guidelines is presented in chapter 10, but is also available at http://accessibilityagent.no/guidelines. Proposals for different ways to continue work with these guidelines in the future have been suggested. This projects’ most important contribution to the field of web accessibility research are strong indications of a need for process oriented accessibility guidelines. A set of process oriented guidelines has been commenced and suggestions for continued work have been presented.
Master in Universal Design of ICT