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R. K. Wong, D. H. Abramson; Web Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2575.
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To design a single website, accessible to the blind, to serve as a centrally-based center with links to outside organizations that offer support and services for the blind and visually impaired.
We conducted literature searches and interviewed blind individuals to identify methods utilized by the blind community to navigate the Internet and factors that limit Internet use and accessibility to the blind. To form the content of our site, we searched the Internet for reputable organizations that provide support and services to the blind and visually impaired.
Our research showed that many blind individuals navigate the Internet with screen reading technology, which translates text and graphics into auditory output. Examples of this software are JAWS® (Freedom Scientific), Zoomtext® (Ai Squared), Hal® (Dolphin Computer Access), and outSPOKEN® (ALVA Access Group). Research also demonstrated that screen readers do not effectively interpret webpages that have multiple graphics, hundreds of links, and intricate webpage interfaces (i.e. drop down menus and navigation bars), thereby limiting Internet usability for the blind. For example, it took JAWS® over 8 minutes to read the opening page of www.msn.com, which had 169 encoded links. We designed our site with as few encoded links as possible, so JAWS® reads our opening page (55 links) in 2 min 50 sec. We also included a "text-only" display option that makes the opening page especially user-friendly by removing all graphics, extraneous links, and intricate webpage interfaces (Figure 1, which JAWS® reads in 58 sec and has 13 links). Our site went live on August 8, 20006 at www.mskcc.org/resourcesfortheblind, providing over 30 links to reputable organizations that offer information on rehabilitation courses for the blind, assistive technology for the blind, camps for blind children, schools for the blind, and libraries for the blind.
We created a single website, accessible to the blind, to provide links to outside organizations that offer support and services for the blind and visually impaired.
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