Collaborative Editing: Collaboration, Awareness and Accessibility Issues for the Blind
Collaborative tools enable teachers and students to easily create and share knowledge as well as edit content in a cooperative way anytime, anywhere, and with various devices. However, technical barriers increase difficulties for users with special needs if interfaces are not designed with accessibility in mind. Blind people in particular may experience great accessibility and usability issues when using collaborative editors via screen reader, with consequent difficulty of inclusion at school or work. In this paper, we discuss the design of usable Web interfaces for collaborative editing, especially focusing on how blind users interact with them. Google Docs was chosen as a case study of a collaborative tool in order to analyze the accessibility of its main collaborative features. Based on the results, five guidelines are proposed for supporting collaborative editing, including “accessible awareness” for blind users.
KeywordsCollaborative editing Google Docs blind users screen reader
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