Abstract (UUC)

Project number (NFR): 195046/140

The recent Norwegian Discrimination and Accessibility Act will place much greater demands on Universal design of Web technology. Web sites should be accessible and usable for everyone, also all groups of disabled users. Our hypothesis is that the new Web Content Accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) will take much greater account of usability.  We see that usability requires that disabled users have specific knowledge. What is "perceivable" and "operable", according to the WCAG guidelines, will be determined by the level of knowledge / experience the user has. A definable and measurable level of user competence is therefore important for testing and developing accessible and usable Web sites, and will be meaningful in all Research and Development projects focusing on Web technology.
The main goal of this project is to define demands for user qualifications to utilize WCAG 2.0 Web sites and to use the definition to develop a framework to teach and test required user skills. The two user groups in focus are: blind and severely visually impaired users, and users with cognitive and learning impairments. The definition of demands for user qualifications will be based on cooperation with disabled users, and on the extensive experience MediaLT has from other research and development projects in the field of IT and the disabled, from our comprehensive training activities and experience with Web site development and evaluation. Literature and online searches will be carried out to assimilate knowledge of user demands. Feedback from national and international centres of expertise will be important in the development and evaluation of the definition.
On the basis of the evaluation of the definition, and pilot training courses, the project group will discuss how the definition can best be applied in future training to improve user skills, and in the development process for WCAG 2.0 Web sites.  During these discussions it will be determined whether a main project is appropriate.