Research and Conclusions

Research

Hypothesis: The construction of web sites which comply with disability compliant guidelines result in greater readership, dissemination of information, and longevity in the world wide web.

Methodology: Gather reliable, factual, and documented information from the world wide web to support the hypothesis.

Presentation: Group the information by major sources of information; example Disability Associations, AARP, American Society of Librarians, and media.

Conclusions: Present the information in such a form as to support or reject the hypothesis.

Time Frame: Work to Begin August 21, 1996 and publish October 1, 1997. Four research assistants volunteered.

Outline - Resources to aid in the research project and citations included in the formal presentation.

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Outline

As an aid to those who would volunteer as a research assistant, the following sources of information are presented.  Please e-mail additional sources during the course of your research and indicate the placement in the outline.  Thanks!

Disability and the WWW Research Project

I. Sources 

http://www.engr.wisc.edu/.

http://www.utoronto.ca/atrc/reference/web.html.

http://www.towson.edu/~bhalle/aejdis.html.

http://dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Disabilities/.

II. Referenced Material 

A. Education 

B. Accessibility 

C. Socialization 

D. Computer Use and Ownership

http://www.census.gov:80/population/www/socdemo/computer.html.

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fttn99/contents.html.

E. Deaf Culture

http://dww.deafworldweb.org/.

F.  Statistics

http://planmagic.com/toolkit/tools/facts2.htm.

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Conclusions

Hypothesis: The construction of web sites which comply with disability compliant guidelines result in greater readership, dissemination of information, and longevity in the world wide web.

Summary

A. Computer Use

The most recent Census report indicates that almost 40% of all citizens 3 - 17 use computers and approximately 23% have computers in their households which will come as no surprise considering the emphasis placed on "computer literacy" in our rapidly changing information society in the United States. Also not surprising is that approximately 36% of the eighteen and older age group use computers from any source and 25% have computers at their homes.

Trends: A survey conducted by SeniorNet demonstrates that the stereotype "seniors are the most resistant to new changes" is out of date, and that seniors have begun to make use of computers in substantial numbers. Another significant trend involves our disabled, who because of three factors are also using computers in increasing numbers: (1) availability and pricing of devices which aid in the use of computers; (2) disability awareness through public programming, web authoring which recognizes and understands disability accessibility, and as our population ages more people are championing disability issues.

Conclusion: The most significant growth in computer ownership and use will occur in the "senior and disabled" sectors in the next decade.

B. Socialization

By group and rationale for use of computers and "surfing" the www, the Senior and Disability groups will turn in increasing numbers to the www, local internets, and those communities which address their needs at the mutual exclusion of those who do not address their needs.

Conclusion: A community which is comprised primarily of non Senior and Disability users will not achieve the "awareness" of a society which is perceived as being a "caring community." All efforts should be directed to a blending of the "community" as a whole, rather than fragmentation and isolation.

C. Accessibility For Everyone

Conclusion: This statement is the authors personal opinion based upon age and physical limitations: But for the grace of God, we would not be able to see or hear what is shown on a persons web site. Our individual circumstances can change in an instant and then would we espouse accessibility for everyone? The obvious answer is yes, so why not do something about the problem right now, today, not later - when it may be too late!

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