Modality-Independent Interaction Framework for Cross-Disability Accessibility

  • J. Bern Jordan
  • Gregg C. Vanderheiden
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8023)


People with disabilities often have difficulty using ICT and similar technologies because of a mismatch between their needs and the requirements of the user interface. The wide range of both user abilities and accessibility guidelines makes it difficult for interface designers who need a simpler accessibility framework that still works across disabilities. A modality-independent interaction framework is proposed to address this problem. We define modality-independent input as non-time-dependent encoded input (such as that from a keyboard) and modality-independent output as electronic text. These formats can be translated to provide a wide range input and output forms as well as support for assistive technologies. We identify three interfaces styles that support modality-independent input/output: command line, single-keystroke command, and linear navigation interfaces. Tasks that depend on time, complex-path, simultaneity, or experience are identified as providing barriers to full cross-disability accessibility. The framework is posited as a simpler approach to wide cross-disability accessibility.


Cross-cultural product and service design disability accessibility framework input output interaction user interface modality independence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Bern Jordan
    • 1
  • Gregg C. Vanderheiden
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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