Hironobu Takagi, Shinya Kawanaka, Masatomo Kobayashi, Daisuke Sato and Chieko Asakawa

1) Jennifer Mankoff, 2) Gillian R. Hayes, and 3) Devva Kasnitz


IBM Research, Yamato, Japan


Collaborative accessibility improvement has great potential to make the Web more adaptive in a timely manner by inviting users into the improvement process. The Social Accessibility Project is an experimental service for a new needs-driven improvement model based on collaborative metadata authoring technologies. In 10 months, about 18,000 pieces of metadata were created for 2,930 webpages through collaboration. We encountered many challenges as we sought to create a new mainstream approach. The productivity of the volunteer activities exceeded our expectation, but we found large and important problems in the screen reader users’ lack of awareness of their own accessibility problems. In this paper, we first introduce examples, analyze some statistics from the pilot service and then discuss our findings and challenges. Three future directions including site-wide authoring are considered.

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