Responses to Accessibility

Having finished this week’s readings, I was impressed by Kerschbaum’s critiques on multimodality inhospitality. With the progress of technology, we pursue multimodality in the designs of software and website; however, multichannel will confuse disabilities. Multimodality is like a double-edged sword: on one hand, the multimodality offers multiple ways of inquiring information; on the other hand, some information channels are not friendly to the ones can’t access easily. To solve this problem, I think first we need to offer enough channels for the users to pick up. Such as mentioned in the article, instructors may think about offering multiple formats of assignments, oral, picture or paper-pencil. Second, different channels will offers the same content. In other words, audio/ video/ graphic contents should include the same information as the text contents.

The principles of Accessibility from W3C is much detailed. In order to get these principles in a product, designers and developers of software, hardware and some scholars in the studies of Digital Media or Natural Language Processing will work together. And a usability test facing the disabilities should be adopted.

I have to admit that the status of accessibility are not that good compared with the U.S. Chinese Government did release some principles for accessibility but few websites follow that principle. Researches related to accessibility are not common inside China. But the condition of the web accessibility keeps improving. Government is proposing an accessible improvement among .gov websites. Conferences on the topic of accessibility are blooming. Some public service activities are in progress as well.

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