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Single Structured Accessibility Stream for Web 2.0 Access Technologies (SASWAT)

Principal researcher

Name: Dr. Simon Harper

Contact details: School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, 2.44 Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
Tel: +44 161 275 0599; Fax: +44 161 275 6204
Email: simon.harper@manchester.ac.uk

Website: http://homepages.cs.manchester.ac.uk/~sharper

Project details

Start date: 01/07/2007
End date: 30/09/2009

Description: We are witnessing a profound change in the interaction model of the World Wide Web. Documents, once created from a single source and delivering static client-side content, have now evolved into composite documents created from multiple third party sources delivering dynamically changing information streams. There are few interaction problems when delivering these parallel streams visually. The real problems arise due to the underlying incoherent nature of this 'new' Web model and the composite documents it creates. Changes in context and multiple dynamic updates all compete for the user's attention, producing an incoherent cacophony if the delivery is serial and in audio.

This shift in the way the Web works comes with a corresponding increase in the cognitive load required for audio interaction. Without a full understanding of this evolving interaction model, along with its extent and context, the Web will rapidly become unable to support the interaction of visually disabled people.

Our objective is to investigate, design, and build a homogeneous mapping framework to support the relating of competing visual streams into a single coherent and mediated accessibility stream such that when automatically applied to a Web document a mapping from parallel visual to serial audio can be achieved. Indeed, because serial mappings are cognitively simpler to understand we would also expect to see side-benefits in cognitive impairment, ageing, and the mobile Web.

Other organisations involved in this project

IBM Watson Research Centre

Last updated: 19/03/2010