ACCESSIBILITY AND PERSONALIZATION. THE LITERACY PROJECT AND THE UNIVERSAL DESIGN APPROACH
RCNS HAS (HUNGARY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The Literacy Project is a European wide research project funded by the European Commission in the area of ICT under the FP7 Programme (Nr. 288596). The aim of the project is to create an advanced online portal to support the inclusion of dyslexic youths and adults in society, and research online accessibility.
Accessibility means an accessible environment with less barriers. On the other hand, universal design refers to a broader idea of producing buildings and products that are accessible to people having disadvantages for different reasons (disabilities, old or very young age, etc.), as well as for everyone else.
An online environment can follow the initiative of universal design easily, as technology makes it extremely amenable to this idea. E-learning materials produced for people having difficulties in any areas can be at the vanguard of this movement.
The Literacy Online Portal (http://www.literacyportal.eu) provides free support for dyslexic youths and adults. Our chief consideration was to develop an interactive, accessible, personalized online surface giving much freedom for the usage of the site. Brain training and materials to cope better with the everyday challenges have been worked out. A carefully developed algorithm serves as the background for personalization.
The features of the Portal include the following:
- designed for users with dyslexia and other literacy-related disadvantages,
- available in four languages: English, Hebrew, Czech, Hungarian,
- offers online assessment and personalized brain training,
- offers a collection of assistive technologies and tips for effectiveness in everyday life, at work and in study,
- has a human centered, accessible and easily personalizable design,
- offers an opportunity for interactive contact within the group of users.
Our aim was to work out the best design for dyslexic users while having the portal be universally well-usable. An accessible format and accessible ways of communication in the transfer of information lead to true accessibility. We worked with three levels of accessibility:
(2) universal and
(3) special accessibility.
These areas cover, respectively,
(1) the technological issues,
(2) overall usability and
(3) services for special difficulties, like dyslexia, low vision, etc.
The three years of work on the Portal content and design provided a lot of experience through successes and even more through failures.
Some of the problem areas we have encountered include the following:
- ensuring a one-page view without scrolling,
- segmentation of long lists and texts,
- how to accommodate personalization and accessibility,
- text-to speech solutions in different languages,
- having mobile device compatibility while retaining accessibility.
Keywords: Universal design, accessibility, dyslexia.