The aDesigner is a tool that Web authors can use to ensure that the webpages they create are accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Web accessibility refers to making the World Wide Web accessible and available to everyone, including people with disabilities and senior citizens. Ensuring Web accessibility improves the quality of life of disabled people by removing barriers that prevent them from taking part in many important life activities. Recent changes in the social environment, such as the implementation of Section 508 in 2001, also call for Web authors to make their pages accessible.
Voice browsers, such as IBM Home Page Reader, read aloud the text on webpages and are used by visually impaired people. However, these devices are less effective with certain kinds of content, including highly graphical material. Web content developers can use aDesigner to test the accessibility and usability of webpages for low vision and blind individuals. The tool looks at such elements as the degree of color contrast on the page, the ability of users to change the font size, the appropriateness of alternate text for images, and the availability of links in the page to promote navigability. The tool also checks the page's compliance with accessibility guidelines. The result of this analysis is a report that lists the problems that would limit the accessibility for and usability by visually impaired users. In addition, each page is given an overall score. With this information, Web content developers get immediate feedback and can make the necessary modifications to address these problems before the content is published.