The accessibility of websites for blind and visually impaired individuals.
This study investigates the accessibility of web sites for blind and visually impaired individuals. The researcher’s aim in this study is to highlight the different problems these individuals experience when interacting with websites. A case study approach was adopted in order to investigate accessibility problems amongst blind and visually impaired people. This was investigated by conducting a user test, observation with the think aloud technique and interviews. The user test was made up of tasks where the participants had to visit four different types of websites and complete predefined tasks for each of these websites. The researcher also analysed the data by the use of automated web evaluations. This was used to compare the automated web evaluation results with the researcher’s results. Content analysis was used to identify frequencies and intensities with which themes and concepts appear in interviewee responses. In addition, correspondence analysis was used to help corroborate the findings of the content analysis and interpret the data. Results revealed that blind and visually impaired individuals do experience many difficulties when interacting with websites. The findings identified certain technical and conceptual accessibility problems that were experienced by blind and visually impaired individuals. The results also indicate that there is a relationship between website design and accessibility problems experienced. Further, the results indicate that the use of an assistive technology has a positive effect on the performance of web based tasks.