In human–computer interaction, computer accessibility refers to the accessibility of a computer system to all people, regardless of disability type or severity of impairment. The term accessibility is most used in reference to specialized hardware or software, or a combination of both, designed to enable use of a computer by a person with a disability or impairment. Specific technologies may be referred to as assistive technology. There are many impairments that can be a barrier to effective computer use; these impairments, which can be acquired from disease, trauma, or may be congenital, include but are not limited to: Cognitive impairments and learning disabilities. Visual impairment such as low-vision, complete or partial blindness, color blindness. Hearing-related disabilities including deafness, being hard of hearing, or hyperacusis. Motor or dexterity impairment such as paralysis, cerebral palsy, carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. Accessibility is abbreviated as the numeronym a11y, where the number 11 refers to the number of letters omitted.
This parallels the abbreviations of internationalization and localization as i18n and l10n respectively. People wishing to overcome an impairment in order to use a computer comfortably and productively may require a "special needs assessment" by an assistive technology consultant to help them identify and configure appropriate assistive technologies to meet individual needs; those who are unable to leave their own home or who live far from assessment providers may be assessed remotely using remote desktop software and a web cam. For example, the assessor logs on to the client's computer via a broadband Internet connection, observes the users computer skills, remotely makes accessibility adjustments to the client's computer where necessary; the biggest challenge in computer accessibility is to make resources accessible to people with cognitive disabilities - those with poor communication and reading skills. As an example, people with learning disabilities may rely on proprietary symbols and thus identify particular products via the product's symbols or icons.
Copyright laws can limit icon or symbol release to web-based programs and websites by owners who are unwilling to release them to the public. In these situations, an alternative approach for users who want to access public computer based terminals in libraries, ATMs, information kiosks is for the user to present a token to the computer terminal, such as a smart card, that has configuration information to adjust the computer speed, text size, etcetera to their particular needs; the concept is encompassed by the CEN standard "Identification card systems – Human-machine interface". This development of this standard has been supported in Europe by SNAPI and has been incorporated into the Local Authority Smartcards Standards e-Organisation specifications. Since computer interfaces solicit visual input and provide visual feedback, another significant challenge in computer accessibility involves making software usable by people with visual impairments. For individuals with mild to medium vision impairment, it is helpful to use large fonts, high DPI displays, high-contrast themes and icons supplemented with auditory feedback and screen magnifying software.
In the case of severe vision impairment such as blindness, screen reader software that provides feedback via text to speech or a refreshable braille display is a necessary accommodation for interaction with a computer. About 8% of people suffer from some form of color-blindness; the main color combinations that might be confused by people with visual deficiency include red/green and blue/green. However, in a well-designed user interface, color will not be the primary way to distinguish between different pieces of information; some people may not be able to use a conventional input device, such as the mouse or the keyboard, therefore, it is important for software functions to be accessible using both devices. Ideally, software will use a generic input API that permits the use of specialized devices unheard of at the time of software's initial development. Keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures are ways to achieve this access, as are more specialized solutions, including on-screen software keyboards and alternate input devices.
Users may enable a bounce key feature, allowing the keyboard to ignore repeated presses of the same key. Speech recognition technology is a compelling and suitable alternative to conventional keyboard and mouse input as it requires a available audio headset; the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's use of assistive technology is an example of a person with severe motor and physical limitations who uses technology to support activities of daily living. He used a switch, combined with special software, that allows him to control his wheelchair-mounted computer using his limited and small movement ability; this personalized system allowed him to do research, produce his written work. Prof. Hawking used augmentative and alternative communication technology to speak and an environmental control device to access equipment independently. A small amount of modern research indicates that utilizing a standard computer mouse device improves fine-motor skills. While sound user interfaces have a secondary role in common desktop computing, these interfaces are limited to using system sounds such as feedback.
Some software producers take into account pe
Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
In 1998 the US Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals; the law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give employees with disabilities and members of the public access to information, comparable to the access available to others. Section 508 was added as an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in 1986; the original section 508 dealt with electronic and information technologies, in recognition of the growth of this field. In 1997, The Federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility and Compliance Act was proposed in the U. S. legislature to correct the shortcomings of the original section 508.
In the end, this Federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility and Compliance Act, with revisions, was enacted as the new Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in 1998. Section 508 addresses legal compliance through the process of market research and government procurement and has technical standards against which products can be evaluated to determine if they meet the technical compliance; because technology can meet the legal provisions and be compliant but may not meet the United States Access Board's technical accessibility standards, users are confused between these two issues. Additionally, evaluation of compliance can be done only when reviewing the procurement process and documentation used when making a purchase or contracting for development, the changes in technologies and standards themselves, it requires a more detailed understanding of the law and technology than at first seems necessary. There is nothing in Section 508 that requires private web sites to comply unless they are receiving federal funds or under contract with a federal agency.
Commercial best practices include voluntary standards and guidelines as the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative. Automatic accessibility checkers such as "IBM Rational Policy Tester" and AccVerify, refer to Section 508 guidelines but have difficulty in testing content for accessibility. In 2006, the United States Access Board organized the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee to review and recommend updates to its Section 508 standards and Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines. TEITAC issued its report to the Board in April 2008; the Board released drafts of proposed rules based on the committee's recommendations in 2010 and 2011 for public comment. In February 2015, the Board released a notice of proposed rulemaking for the Section 508 standards. Federal agencies can be in legal compliance and still not meet the technical standards. Section 508 §1194.3 General exceptions describe exceptions for national security, incidental items not procured as work products, individual requests for non-public access, fundamental alteration of a product's key requirements, or maintenance access.
In the case that implementation of such standards causes undue hardship to the Federal agency or department involved, such Federal agencies or departments are required to supply the data and information to covered disabled persons by alternative means that allow them to make use of such information and data. Section 508 requires that all Federal information, accessible electronically must be accessible for those with disabilities; this information must be accessible in a variety of ways. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that all federal agencies provide individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodation, which falls into three categories: modifications and adjustments must be made for a person with a disability to be considered for a job and adjustments must be made in order for an individual to execute essential functions of the job, modifications or adjustments must be made in order to enable employees to have equal benefits and privileges Some users may need certain software in order to be able to access certain information.
People with disabilities are not required to use specific wording when putting in a reasonable accommodation request when applying for a job. An agency must be flexible in processing all requests; this means. Each process should be handled on a case-by-case basis; the original legislation mandated that the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, known as the Access Board, establish a draft for their Final Standards for accessibility for such electronic and information technologies in December 2001. The final standards were approved in April 2001 and became enforceable on June 25, 2001; the latest information about these standards and about support available from the Access Board in implementing them, as well as the results of surveys conducted to assess compliance, is available from the Board's newsletter Access Currents. The Section 508 standards and resources are available from the Center for Information Technology Accommodation, in the U. S. General Services Administration's Office of Government-wide Policy.
Software Applications and Operating Systems: includes acces
International Business Machines Corporation is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924. IBM produces and sells computer hardware and software, provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is a major research organization, holding the record for most U. S. patents generated by a business for 26 consecutive years. Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, dynamic random-access memory; the IBM mainframe, exemplified by the System/360, was the dominant computing platform during the 1960s and 1970s. IBM has continually shifted business operations by focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets.
This includes spinning off printer manufacturer Lexmark in 1991 and the sale of personal computer and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo, acquiring companies such as PwC Consulting, SPSS, The Weather Company, Red Hat. In 2014, IBM announced that it would go "fabless", continuing to design semiconductors, but offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries. Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers, with over 380,000 employees, known as "IBMers". At least 70% of IBMers are based outside the United States, the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science. In the 1880s, technologies emerged that would form the core of International Business Machines. Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885. On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New York State by Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company based in Endicott, New York.
The five companies had offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York. C.. They manufactured machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders and cheese slicers, to tabulators and punched cards. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. fired from the National Cash Register Company by John Henry Patterson, called on Flint and, in 1914, was offered a position at CTR. Watson joined CTR as General Manager 11 months was made President when court cases relating to his time at NCR were resolved. Having learned Patterson's pioneering business practices, Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto CTR's companies, he implemented sales conventions, "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". His favorite slogan, "THINK", became a mantra for each company's employees. During Watson's first four years, revenues reached $9 million and the company's operations expanded to Europe, South America and Australia.
Watson never liked the clumsy hyphenated name "Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" and on February 14, 1924 chose to replace it with the more expansive title "International Business Machines". By 1933 most of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM. In 1937, IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process unprecedented amounts of data, its clients including the U. S. Government, during its first effort to maintain the employment records for 26 million people pursuant to the Social Security Act, the tracking of persecuted groups by Hitler's Third Reich through the German subsidiary Dehomag. In 1949, Thomas Watson, Sr. created IBM World Trade Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM focused on foreign operations. In 1952, he stepped down after 40 years at the company helm, his son Thomas Watson, Jr. was named president. In 1956, the company demonstrated the first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM 704 not to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience.
In 1957, the FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed. In 1961, IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines and introduced the successful Selectric typewriter. In 1963, IBM employees and computers helped. A year it moved its corporate headquarters from New York City to Armonk, New York; the latter half of the 1960s saw IBM continue its support of space exploration, participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights and 1969 lunar mission. On April 7, 1964, IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360, it spanned the complete range of commercial and scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies for the first time to upgrade to models with greater computing capability without having to rewrite their applications. It was followed by the IBM System/370 in 1970. Together the
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web known as the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators, which may be interlinked by hypertext, are accessible over the Internet. The resources of the WWW may be accessed by users by a software application called a web browser. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, he wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public in August 1991; the World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool billions of people use to interact on the Internet. Web resources may be any type of downloaded media, but web pages are hypertext media that have been formatted in Hypertext Markup Language; such formatting allows for embedded hyperlinks that contain URLs and permit users to navigate to other web resources.
In addition to text, web pages may contain images, video and software components that are rendered in the user's web browser as coherent pages of multimedia content. Multiple web resources with a common theme, a common domain name, or both, make up a website. Websites are stored in computers that are running a program called a web server that responds to requests made over the Internet from web browsers running on a user's computer. Website content can be provided by a publisher, or interactively where users contribute content or the content depends upon the users or their actions. Websites may be provided for a myriad of informative, commercial, governmental, or non-governmental reasons. Tim Berners-Lee's vision of a global hyperlinked information system became a possibility by the second half of the 1980s. By 1985, the global Internet began to proliferate in Europe and the Domain Name System came into being. In 1988 the first direct IP connection between Europe and North America was made and Berners-Lee began to discuss the possibility of a web-like system at CERN.
While working at CERN, Berners-Lee became frustrated with the inefficiencies and difficulties posed by finding information stored on different computers. On March 12, 1989, he submitted a memorandum, titled "Information Management: A Proposal", to the management at CERN for a system called "Mesh" that referenced ENQUIRE, a database and software project he had built in 1980, which used the term "web" and described a more elaborate information management system based on links embedded as text: "Imagine the references in this document all being associated with the network address of the thing to which they referred, so that while reading this document, you could skip to them with a click of the mouse." Such a system, he explained, could be referred to using one of the existing meanings of the word hypertext, a term that he says was coined in the 1950s. There is no reason, the proposal continues, why such hypertext links could not encompass multimedia documents including graphics and video, so that Berners-Lee goes on to use the term hypermedia.
With help from his colleague and fellow hypertext enthusiast Robert Cailliau he published a more formal proposal on 12 November 1990 to build a "Hypertext project" called "WorldWideWeb" as a "web" of "hypertext documents" to be viewed by "browsers" using a client–server architecture. At this point HTML and HTTP had been in development for about two months and the first Web server was about a month from completing its first successful test; this proposal estimated that a read-only web would be developed within three months and that it would take six months to achieve "the creation of new links and new material by readers, authorship becomes universal" as well as "the automatic notification of a reader when new material of interest to him/her has become available". While the read-only goal was met, accessible authorship of web content took longer to mature, with the wiki concept, WebDAV, Web 2.0 and RSS/Atom. The proposal was modelled after the SGML reader Dynatext by Electronic Book Technology, a spin-off from the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship at Brown University.
The Dynatext system, licensed by CERN, was a key player in the extension of SGML ISO 8879:1986 to Hypermedia within HyTime, but it was considered too expensive and had an inappropriate licensing policy for use in the general high energy physics community, namely a fee for each document and each document alteration. A NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee as the world's first web server and to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, in 1990. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built all the tools necessary for a working Web: the first web browser and the first web server; the first web site, which described the project itself, was published on 20 December 1990. The first web page may be lost, but Paul Jones of UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina announced in May 2013 that Berners-Lee gave him what he says is the oldest known web page during a 1991 visit to UNC. Jones stored it on his NeXT computer. On 6 August 1991, Berners-Lee published a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the newsgroup alt.hypertext.
This date is sometimes confused with the public availability of the first web servers, which had occurred months earlier. As another example of such confusion, several news media reported that the first photo on the Web was published by Berners-Lee in 1992, an image of the CERN house band Les Horribles Cernettes taken by Silvano de Gennaro.
WebAIM is a non-profit organization based at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. WebAIM has provided web accessibility solutions since 1999. WebAIM's mission is to expand the potential of the web for people with disabilities by providing the knowledge, technical skills, organizational leadership strategies, vision that empower organizations to make their own content accessible to people with disabilities. WebAIM provides a number of web accessibility services; the WAVE accessibility evaluation tool is administered by WebAIM. This free, online tool provides visual feedback of a page's accessibility. WebAIM web accessibility services include accessibility training, web site monitoring & reporting, consulting, accessible site design, accessibility repairs. WebAIM administers an online community. Community resources include a newsletter, email discussion list, an onsite 2-day training, RSS feeds; the WebAIM web site provides extensive information for web developers and others interested in accessibility of web content for the following disabilities: visual disabilities - blindness, low vision, color blindness motor disabilities - including Parkinson's Disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, stroke, etc. cognitive disabilities - including dementia, autism, Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injury, attention deficit disorder, or other functional disabilities that may impact ones ability in memory, problem-solving and reading, math, or visual comprehension.
Assistive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities or elderly population while including the process used in selecting and using them. People who have disabilities have difficulty performing activities of daily living independently, or with assistance. ADLs are self-care activities that include toileting, eating, bathing and grooming. Assistive technology can ameliorate the effects of disabilities that limit the ability to perform ADLs. Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks they were unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. For example, wheelchairs provide independent mobility for those who cannot walk, while assistive eating devices can enable people who cannot feed themselves to do so. Due to assistive technology, people with disabilities have an opportunity of a more positive and easygoing lifestyle, with an increase in "social participation," "security and control," and a greater chance to "reduce institutional costs without increasing household expenses."
The term adaptive technology is used as the synonym for assistive technology. Assistive technology refers to "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities", while adaptive technology covers items that are designed for persons with disabilities and would be used by non-disabled persons. In other words, "assistive technology is any object or system that increases or maintains the capabilities of people with disabilities," while adaptive technology is "any object or system, designed for the purpose of increasing or maintaining the capabilities of people with disabilities." Adaptive technology is a subset of assistive technology. Adaptive technology refers to electronic and information technology access. Wheelchairs are devices that can be manually propelled or electrically propelled, that include a seating system and are designed to be a substitute for the normal mobility that most people have.
Wheelchairs and other mobility devices allow people to perform mobility-related activities of daily living which include feeding, dressing and bathing. The devices come in a number of variations where they can be propelled either by hand or by motors where the occupant uses electrical controls to manage motors and seating control actuators through a joystick, sip-and-puff control, or other input devices. There are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing or input devices for caregivers. Wheelchairs are used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. People with both sitting and walking disability need to use a wheelchair or walker. Patient transfer devices allow patients with impaired mobility to be moved by caregivers between beds, commodes, chairs, shower benches, swimming pools, other patient support systems; the most common devices are Patient lifts, Transfer benches, stretcher or convertible chairs, sit-to-stand lifts, air bearing inflatable mattresses, sliding boards.
Dependent patients who cannot assist their caregiver in moving them require a Patient lift which though invented in 1955 and in common use since the early 1960s is still considered the state-of-the-art transfer device by OSHA and the American Nursing Association. A walker or walking frame or Rollator is a tool for disabled people who need additional support to maintain balance or stability while walking, it consists of a frame, about waist high twelve inches deep and wider than the user. Walkers are available in other sizes, such as for children, or for heavy people. Modern walkers are height-adjustable; the front two legs of the walker may or may not have wheels attached depending on the strength and abilities of the person using it. It is common to see caster wheels or glides on the back legs of a walker with wheels on the front. A prosthesis, prosthetic, or prosthetic limb is a device, it is part of the field of biomechatronics, the science of using mechanical devices with human muscle and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control lost by trauma, disease, or defect.
Prostheses are used to replace parts lost by injury or missing from birth or to supplement defective body parts. Inside the body, artificial heart valves are in common use with artificial hearts and lungs seeing less common use but under active technology development. Other medical devices and aids that can be considered prosthetics include hearing aids, artificial eyes, palatal obturator, gastric bands, dentures. Prostheses are not orthoses, although given certain circumstances a prosthesis might end up performing some or all of the same functionary benefits as an orthosis. Prostheses are technically the complete finished item. For instance, a C-Leg knee alone is not a prosthesis, but only a