Assistive Technologies


Over the last three decades, the Web has become an increasingly important platform that affects every part of our lives: from requesting simple navigation instructions to active participating in political activities; from playing video games to remotely coordinate teams of professionals; from paying monthly bills to engaging is micro-funding activities. Missing on these opportunities is a strong vehicle of info-, economic-, and social-exclusion. For people with disabilities, accessing the Web is sometimes a challenging task. Assistive technologies are used to lower barriers and enable people to fully leverage all the opportunities available in (and through) the Web. This chapter introduces a brief overview of how both assistive technologies and the Web evolved over the years. It also considers some of the most commonly used assistive technologies as well as recent research efforts in the field of accessible computing. Finally, it provides a discussion of future directions for an inclusive Web.

Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Research
Hugo Nicolau
Assistant Professor