A consortium of researchers and user organisations from across Europe is investigating the accessibility of Web 2.0 applications for disabled and older people, as announced by the relevant I2Web project responsible on 26 October 2011. The consortium will then create new tools to help developers produce applications that are more accessible to these groups.
Currently there is very little support for developers of Web 2.0 applications on how to make their applications usable by disabled and older people. Furthermore, incompatibilities between the assistive technologies that disabled people use and Web 2.0 applications often make it difficult for people to make sense of Web 2.0 applications.
The I2Web Project will therefore develop tools that will help web developers create applications -that are more usable by older and disabled users. The project will also create modules that allow applications to adapt to the needs and strategies of older and disabled users and allow the applications to work better using with their assistive devices and software.
Initial work within the project has investigated the ways that disabled and older people currently use Web 2.0, particularly the strategies used. This work is allowing the project to develop a new approach to accessibility: whereas the traditional approach to accessibility is based on trying to eliminate the problems that people encounter, the I2Web approach is based on the positive strategies that people use and building applications that adapt to the user, instead of the other way around.