Thursday, January 28, 2010

Assistive Technologies

Enabling an Accessible Web 2.0

The World Wide Web has transformed from an informational technology into an interactive and vital aspect of functional living. For the disabled, staying up to date with the Internets evolution is a necessity for daily living. Web 2.0 is providing new and improved ways of accessibility for those with disabilities. ARIAs such as semantics, input focus, keyboard navigation, and dynamic updates allow users to easily span the internet and obtain the most current data. Operating systems have created APIs for Web 2.0 utilization. Despite the difficulty in testing Web 2.0 accessibility, various tools based on the Accessibility Best Practices principles allow dynamic progression of Web 2.0 for universal operation.

The Internet is a crucial part of every persons life and that statement rings more true in the life of a person with a disability. Being able to have access to, navigate, communicate, and extract data from a wealth of human interface is essential the the success of the disabled. I found the Keyboard Navigation and Dynamic Updates features to be simple, yet effective solutions to inaccessibility. As the news report revealed, life is sustained on personal interaction, collaboration, and social networking. Whether it be a tailored keyboard, voice activated typing, or hands free internet navigation, all people with disability should have access to the Internet. I found the article to be lacking in practicality. Unless I was familiar with computer lingo, I would have found little information to help gain practical knowledge about internet accessibility. I chose this video because it was more relational and gave the viewer a better understanding of the tools created for internet accessibility. And as an future educator it is vital that I am up to speed with every means of internet accommodation for my students.

As educators, what is the best way to remain educated on current, practical means to serve our students with disabilities?
For example, if you have a student with dyslexia and require the class to complete an internet assignment that involves reading internet data or typing on the computer, how do you ensure they will not be at a disadvantage?