Survey: Improving Document Accessibility from the Blind and Visually Impaired User’s Point of View

  • Martin Dorigo
  • Bettina Harriehausen-Mühlbauer
  • Ingo Stengel
  • Paul S. Dowland
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6768)


There are thousands of digital documents available on the internet, but many of them are not accessible for blind and visually impaired people. To find out what is of importance as to the reading of text and the navigation within documents from the user’s point of view, a survey has been conducted among people concerned. They were asked how they handle text-documents, which problems they have and which features they would wish to have for a novel concept of assistive technology. The analysis of feedbacks from 205 participants leads to four key issues: The people concerned would like to have better access to digital documents as well as a better overview over their structure and content. In addition, the assistive technologies should be more easy, intuitive and standardised to use. A discussion is provided where the outline of preliminary solutions for the issues mentioned is proposed.


Document accessibility Visual impairment Blind Assistive Technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Dorigo
    • 1
  • Bettina Harriehausen-Mühlbauer
    • 2
  • Ingo Stengel
    • 2
  • Paul S. Dowland
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Security, Communications and Network ResearchUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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