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Is Wikipedia usable for the blind?
Abstract Today wikis are becoming increasingly wideToday wikis are becoming increasingly widespread, and offer great benefits in a variety of collaborative environments. Therefore, to be universally valuable, wiki systems should be easy to use for anyone, regardless of ability. This paper describes obstacles that a blind user may encounter when interacting via screen reader with Wikipedia, and offers some suggestions for improving usability. some suggestions for improving usability.
Added by wikilit team No but verified  +
Collected data time dimension N/A  +
Comments Language versions: "We tested both the EngLanguage versions: "We tested both the English and Italian pages in order to understand whether language-based versions have the same or very similar user interfaces." (p. 16) Method: "To evaluate accessibility and usability of Wiki systems via screen reader, we selected a very popular Wiki: the Wikipedia portal ( Specifically we analyzed three kinds of pages: (1) the home page, (2) the result of a search, and (3) the edit page and functions, by using the screen reader Jaws for Windows ( v. 8.0. We used both the MS IE version 6.0.29 and the Mozilla Firefox version browsers. The test was carried out by both authors independently; afterwards, outcomes were compared and integrated. One author has been totally blind since childhood and uses the JAWS screen reader every day; thus she knows this tool’s functions very well and is able to use advanced commands." (p. 16)is able to use advanced commands." (p. 16)
Conclusion In this paper we analyzed various usabilitIn this paper we analyzed various usability issues that Wikipedia presents for blind users. Our analysis highlighted that although Wikipedia contents are accessible via screen reader, usability should be improved in order to facilitate interaction by the blind. Critical issues are related to updating the editing UIs, currently inaccessible for the blind. Therefore we have discussed some possible solutions to these problems. In the future we plan to modify the Wikipedia editing UI by applying ARIA specifications. Afterwards, user testing will be carried out with blind users in order to effectively compare the original and ARIA-implemented Wikipedia UIs and evaluate the improvement, if any. This paper may contribute to the Wikipedia Usability Project, which aims to make Wikipedia easier for everyone to use; additionally, our contribution aims to promote the application of standards relating to Web accessibility and usability.lating to Web accessibility and usability.
Conference location Beijing, China +
Data source N/A  +
Google scholar url  +
Has author Marina Buzzi + , Barbara Leporini +
Has domain Computer science + , Information systems +
Has topic Technical infrastructure + , Other antecedents of participation +
Pages 15-22  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Conference paper  +
Published in Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A) +
Publisher ACM +
Research design Other  +
Research questions "how the blind interact with wikis via screen reader" (p. 16)
Revid 10,836  +
Theories N/A
Theory type N/A  +
Title Is Wikipedia usable for the blind?
Unit of analysis User  +
Url  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language Multiple  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2008  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 28 August 2012 15:13:17  +
Categories Technical infrastructure  + , Other antecedents of participation  + , Computer science  + , Information systems  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:29:08  +
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