Friday, November 2, 2007

Each One Teach One: Recommendations

So, what can be done to expand the reach of assistive technologies? Here are a few of my suggestions, along with a quick evaluation of a few major national sites.
  1. Spend and budget money to develop alternate pages that are readable by a variety of adaptive and assistive technologies. Developers should also work to make sure their main pages have alternate tags and images that can stand in the place of Flash or Java animation and video.
  2. Government websites are fairly committed to making their sites accessible to the visually impaired, thanks in part to amendments that have been made to the Americans with Disabilities act and other pieces of legislation. Corporations need to do a better job
    of doing the same.
  3. Expand the use of adaptive and assistive technologies on national and international websites like,,, provides links at the bottom of it’s text-driven home page to CNN’s sites in Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. Excellent! But, I couldn’t find a link to a text-only page.
    : I couldn’t find a translated or accessible page. The site does do a far amount with podcasts and sound.
    : Also, no easily visible button to translate or link to an accessible page.

  4. Reduce the cost of these technologies so users are not as limited by the cost limitations of getting online.
  5. Awareness and education. A better understanding of what it takes to develop these kinds of sites will help developers and designers in their creation of truly user-friendly websites. Also, web design classes should be sure to include a module on adaptive and assistive development and adaptive and assistive technologies.

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