Building Inclusive Cyberspace for Persons with Disabilities - Role of Python
Kuppu Samy (~kuppu) |
Persons with disabilities (PWD) are the largest invisible minority in the world. According to United Nations statistics, 15 percent of the world population (1 billion) is disabled. With the rapid improvements in medicine, the average life span is constantly increasing. The United Nations has declared that in countries where the average life span is more than 70, the elderly spend, on an average, eight years with some sort of disability. These statistics reveal the necessity of making cyberspace accessibility mandatory. IT can bring great benefits to the lives of this group. Break barriers, open doors: For an inclusive society and development for all is a mission of the United Nations. Breaking barriers and opening doors is equally important in cyberspace as much as in the physical world.
Adding complexity to this problem is the mammoth size of the World Wide Web. With its explosive growth, both in terms of its contents and its variety, poses certain important challenges to end users. Searching for a required piece of information from large volumes is one of the key problems that the average Web user faces on a daily basis. For persons with disabilities this becomes more complex. We have moved from the era of ‘information scarcity’ to the era of ‘information overload’. Almost any keyword that you fire into a search engine returns results ranging in number from a few hundred to many thousands and even a few million. Fetching the data required to satisfy the user’s information needs is one of the challenging research issues.
Accessibility Computing is an evolving research domain which aims towards empowering persons with disabilities with digital tools. Web accessibility is an important part of accessibility computing. Ensuring web accessibility for persons with disabilities involves the following phases:
- Web Accessibility Evaluation and Reporting
- Web Content Adaptation
Python shall be used effectively for both of the aforementioned tasks. This session would highlight the role of Python in measuring web accessibility and applying the web content extraction techniques to adapt the web contents to meet the requirements of Persons with Disabilities particularly for persons with visual impairments.
This session would primarily explore the present state of web accessibility in global and Indian scenarios. A Case Study of making the digital Newspaper Content accessible for persons with visual impairments would be discussed.
- Basic Understanding of web development eco-system
- Basic Understanding of Python
Dr. K.S.Kuppusamy is an assistant professor of computer science at, School of Engineering and Technology, Pondicherry Central University, with over 13 years of experience in both academia and industry. He has been awarded the Best Teacher Award Six times in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2018. His area of interest is Accessibility Computing, Human-Computer Interaction.
- Profile Page at Pondicherry University: http://www.pondiuni.edu.in/PU_Establishment/profile_view/?node=940
- Regular Contributor to Open Source For You Magazine: https://opensourceforu.com/author/ks-kuppusamy/
- ResearchGate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/K_S_Kuppusamy