Case Study: Deaf and Blindness

Ms. Kaseem, Teenager with deaf-blindness

Ms. Kaseem uses the Web to find new restaurants to go to with friends and classmates. She is deaf and recently became legally blind too, but she can see small portions of a screen.

At home, she uses the following combination of hardware and software to use the Web:

  • Screen magnification software to enlarge the text on websites to a suitable font size
  • Screen reader software that displays text on the screen on a refreshable braille device
  • Large computer screen with high resolution and high luminosity (brightness)
  • Portable refreshable braille device that displays characters in tactile form

She uses screen magnification software to enlarge small portions of a web page on the entire screen. The magnifier also enlarges the mouse pointer on the screen so that she can see it. When screen magnification is not sufficient, she uses a screen reader to drive the refreshable braille display, which she reads slowly.

Ms. Kaseem also uses a mobile phone to access the Web when she is not at home. The phone displays buttons or braille characters on the screen, and uses the vibration function to signal them when she scans over the touch-screen with her fingertips. She uses the GPS on her phone to better orient herself, to find out about what is nearby, or for recording reviews about restaurants in her favorite city guide.

She often uses the public transportation websites to plan her trips. However, the bus schedules get distorted when they are enlarged because the text inside them does not wrap or re-flow properly. The schedules for the local train are in a different format that allows better enlarging. The local trains website also uses proper markup to indicate the page headings, column and row headings in tables, list items, links, form controls, and more. Her friend told her that this website was easier to use by others using a mobile phone too.

Ms. Kaseem found advice on Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites and notified the webmaster of the public buses website about the accessibility barriers she encounters on the site. She also explained how the public trains website works better for her and for other mobile phone users, and hopes she will soon get a response.

Our question to you is:

  • If Ms. Kaseem visits your website, and you have tabular information, is the coding done
    correctly so here hardware and software can use your website and give here the info
    she is looking for?
  • Would she book mark you, for future reference and purchases?
  • Does your website support the technology the disabled are using to surf the web?

Case Study from: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Our Questions from: IceWeb Solutions’ Staff