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Improving Website accessibility to both illiterate and non-illiterate web users

The internet is a very important means of communication. Many people now chat, email, buy, sell and share information with the help of websites across different locations. The simplicity of websites has broken all barriers in interactions across geographical locations and language barriers. Now it is time that it accommodates simplicity so that even the illiterate and the disabled can browse comfortably without having to worry about anything. The project therefore initiates a step into researching, understanding and developing something for them. There has already been tremendous work being done in the area.

Mitra (2006) in his paper emphasizes the work being done in governmental organizations to make it more user friendly for people with limitations. Huang, C. J. and Shih-Hsin (2003) in their paper mention analyzes Taiwan’s central government website. The paper gives details about the mistakes that have been made and explains many strategies to overcome the limitations. EUD (2003) gives some of the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union to enable much easier web access. Donoghue (2004) gives details about the effective steps taken by the UK government is make their websites more user friendly.

It explains the laws and policies that are being enforced so that people of all abilities can access information. W3C (2006) has come up with some evaluation techniques, tools, and information that will help in the research of websites, so that we can check their suitability in accessibility for all. These techniques will form a part of the methodology that will be used for the project. There has been a lot of research in the areas of ICT, but there is no firm research and analysis that is done on the people in question and their direct experience with the websites.

Research would include surveys, questionnaires, online tests, interviews and groups discussions. The project would therefore aim at first researching some of the websites that have been developed and then will deduce the limitations and changes that needs to be incorporated in them to make it much more accessible to all age groups and to people of all abilities. The project will also follow a sample website elaborating on what should be the “Perfect Website” for all. The project plan would cover 6 months out of which 2 months are for market research and analysis, 2 months for the “Perfect Website” development.

1 month for deployment of website and then market research on suitability and the last month for the analysis as to what improvements need to be done so that more people are satisfied in using the website. The main aim of the project would be to develop a website that will enable illiterates and disabled people to comfortably browse through e-commerce websites.

References

Mitra, Rajib. (2006) “ICT Support for Disabled Persons”. DRTC Conference on ICT for facilitating Digital Learning Environment, Bangalore, India, 11-13 January, 2006. Huang, C. J. , Shih-Hsin (2003) “Usability of e-government Web-sites for people with disabilities”. System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on. Publication Date: 6-9 Jan. 2003. On page(s): 11 pp. EUD (2003). European Union of the Deaf (EUD). Retrieved on 21 February 2008 from http://www. eudeaf2003. org/ Donoghue . A (2004). Web accessibility drive for UK government websites. Macromedia hoping to cash in. Published: Friday 18 June 2004. www. Silicon. com W3C (2006). Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility: Overview. Web Accessibility initiative. Retrieved on 21 February 2008 from http://www. w3. org/WAI/eval/.

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