On making web accessibility more accessible: strategy and tools for social good

Rubano, Vincenzo (2023) On making web accessibility more accessible: strategy and tools for social good, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Computer science and engineering, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/11023.
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The world currently faces a paradox in terms of accessibility for people with disabilities. While digital technologies hold immense potential to improve their quality of life, the majority of web content still exhibits critical accessibility issues. This PhD thesis addresses this challenge by proposing two interconnected research branches. The first introduces a groundbreaking approach to improving web accessibility by rethinking how it is approached, making it more accessible itself. It involves the development of: 1. AX, a declarative framework of web components that enforces the generation of accessible markup by means of static analysis. 2. An innovative accessibility testing and evaluation methodology, which communicates test results by exploiting concepts that developers are already familiar with (visual rendering and mouse operability) to convey the accessibility of a page. This methodology is implemented through the SAHARIAN browser extension. 3. A11A, a categorized and structured collection of curated accessibility resources aimed at facilitating their intended audiences discover and use them. The second branch focuses on unleashing the full potential of digital technologies to improve accessibility in the physical world. The thesis proposes the SCAMP methodology to make scientific artifacts accessible to blind, visually impaired individuals, and the general public. It enhances the natural characteristics of objects, making them more accessible through interactive, multimodal, and multisensory experiences. Additionally, the prototype of \gls{a11yvt}, a system supporting accessible virtual tours, is presented. It provides blind and visually impaired individuals with features necessary to explore unfamiliar indoor environments, while maintaining universal design principles that makes it suitable for usage by the general public. The thesis extensively discusses the theoretical foundations, design, development, and unique characteristics of these innovative tools. Usability tests with the intended target audiences demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed artifacts, suggesting their potential to significantly improve the current state of accessibility.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Rubano, Vincenzo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
web accessibility declarative markup cultural heritage virtual reality accessibility testing web development
Data di discussione
5 Luglio 2023

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