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Kawasaki, Japan

Sato D.,1623 14 Shimo tsuruma | Takagi H.,1623 14 Shimo tsuruma | Kobayashi M.,1623 14 Shimo tsuruma | Kawanaka S.,Ark Mori Building 19F | Asakawa C.,1623 14 Shimo tsuruma
ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing

The Web is becoming a platform for daily activities and is expanding the opportunities for collaboration among people all over the world. The effects of these innovations are seen not only in major Web services such as wikis and social networking services but also in accessibility services. Collaborative accessibility improvement has great potential to make the Web more adaptive. Screen reader users, developers, site owners, and any Web volunteers who want to help the users are invited into the activities to improve accessibility in a timely manner. The Social Accessibility Project is an experimental service for a new needs-driven improvement model based on collaborative metadata authoring technologies. In 20 months, about 19,000 pieces of metadata were created for more than 3,000 Web pages through collaboration based on 355 requests submitted from users. We encountered many challenges as we sought to create a new mainstream approach and created distinctive features in new user interfaces to address some of these challenges. Although the new features increased user participation, serious issues remain. The productivity of the volunteers exceeded our expectations, but we found large and important problems in the users' lack of awareness of their own accessibility problems. This is a critical problem for sustaining the active use of the service, because about 70% of the improvement starts with a request from a user. Helping users with visual impairments understand the actual issues is a crucial and challenging topic, and will lead to improved accessibility. We first introduce examples of collaboration, analyze several kinds of statistics on the activities of the users and volunteers of the pilot service, and then discuss our findings and challenges. Five future foci are considered: site-wide metadata authoring, encouraging active participation by users, quality management for the created metadata, metadata for dynamic HTML applications, and collaborations with site owners. © 2010 ACM 1936-7228/2010/11-ART5. Source

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