Accessible collaborative writing for persons who are blind
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
xvi, 316 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Computer and Information Sciences
RightsCopyright protected, all rights reserved.
There are no restrictions on access to this document. An internet release form signed by the author to display this document online is on file with Towson University Special Collections and Archives.
In order to establish the current state of the accessibility and the usability of collaborative technologies, a literature review, several focus group studies and field studies were conducted. The collaborative technologies examined were email, Chat, group calendars, and collaborative writing. As a result of these examinations, collaborative technologies were determined to be inaccessible and unusable, often leading to end-user frustration and discontinued use of the technology. The participants of the focus group studies and field studies reported that collaborative writing was necessary on a daily basis, but was inaccessible and unusable. Therefore, as a consequence of the accessibility and usability issues found with collaborative writing applications, a proposed accessible and usable Microsoft Word Add-In prototype was developed for Microsoft Word. The interface design included such features as a context-sensitive menu and hot-keys for easy access and use. Utilizing an iterative design approach, the prototype was examined in two rounds of usability study with participants' suggested improvements included in-between each round. The resulting prototype was considered easy to learn and use, clear and understandable, improved the participants' performance, and would be utilized by the participants on a regular basis to do similar tasks.