Accessibility of web search engines Towards a deeper understanding of barriers for people with disabilities

Accessibility of web search engines Towards a deeper understanding of barriers for people with... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the aspects to be considered when evaluating web search engines' accessibility for people with disabilities. The authors provide an overview of related work and outline a theoretical framework for a comprehensive accessibility study of web search engines, regarding the principles of disability studies and the idea of inclusion. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a literature review, and an aggregation of recommended actions in practice, mainly the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) evaluation model. Findings – A good way to conduct an accessibility study in a comprehensive manner is the WAI methodology consisting of three‐steps: preliminary review to quickly identify potential accessibility problems; conformance evaluation to determine whether a website meets established accessibility standards; and user testing to include real people with disabilities in a practical use. For the use case “web search engines” some special issues have to be taken into consideration. Research limitations/implications – The paper can be seen as a brainstorming and describes a theoretical concept of how to do. Conclusions about actual barriers of web search engines and criteria of satisfaction for people with disabilities do not exist as of yet; the model is not tested so far. Practical implications – This paper provides practical implications for researchers who want to conduct an accessibility study, especially of web search engines. Findings of such studies can have practical implications for web search engine developers to improve accessibility of their product. The accessibility of web search engines does not only have implications for people with special needs, but also for the elderly or temporarily handicapped people. Originality/value – This paper combines findings from web search engine research with aspects of disability studies. Therefore, it provides insights for researches, search engine developers and educators in practice on how important accessibility of web search engines for people with disabilities is, how it can be measured and what aspects need to be considered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Review Emerald Publishing

Accessibility of web search engines Towards a deeper understanding of barriers for people with disabilities

Library Review, Volume 61 (8/9): 14 – Aug 31, 2012

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0024-2535
DOI
10.1108/00242531211292105
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the aspects to be considered when evaluating web search engines' accessibility for people with disabilities. The authors provide an overview of related work and outline a theoretical framework for a comprehensive accessibility study of web search engines, regarding the principles of disability studies and the idea of inclusion. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a literature review, and an aggregation of recommended actions in practice, mainly the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) evaluation model. Findings – A good way to conduct an accessibility study in a comprehensive manner is the WAI methodology consisting of three‐steps: preliminary review to quickly identify potential accessibility problems; conformance evaluation to determine whether a website meets established accessibility standards; and user testing to include real people with disabilities in a practical use. For the use case “web search engines” some special issues have to be taken into consideration. Research limitations/implications – The paper can be seen as a brainstorming and describes a theoretical concept of how to do. Conclusions about actual barriers of web search engines and criteria of satisfaction for people with disabilities do not exist as of yet; the model is not tested so far. Practical implications – This paper provides practical implications for researchers who want to conduct an accessibility study, especially of web search engines. Findings of such studies can have practical implications for web search engine developers to improve accessibility of their product. The accessibility of web search engines does not only have implications for people with special needs, but also for the elderly or temporarily handicapped people. Originality/value – This paper combines findings from web search engine research with aspects of disability studies. Therefore, it provides insights for researches, search engine developers and educators in practice on how important accessibility of web search engines for people with disabilities is, how it can be measured and what aspects need to be considered.

Journal

Library ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 31, 2012

Keywords: Internet; Search engines; Disabled people; Accessibility; Web search; Web search engine; Disability; Inclusion; Web Accessibility Initiative

References

  • Improving search engine interfaces for blind users: a case study
    Andronico, P.; Buzzi, M.; Castillo, C.; Leporini, B.
  • A comparative test of web accessibility evaluation methods
    Brajnik, G.
  • A taxonomy of web search
    Broder, A.
  • Web accessibility trends in university libraries and library schools
    Comeaux, D.; Schmetzke, A.

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