Pragmatic Solutions for Better Integration of the Visually Impaired in Virtual Communities
Association for Computing Machinery
This article introduces and discusses issues in the design of user interfaces for visually impaired people in the domain of virtual communities. We begin by pointing out that collaborative virtual environments provide additional means for visually impaired people which may help to accomplish a better integration into existing communities and social activities. We give a short introduction to the way visually impaired people usually work with a PC and show how their method of information access differs to sighted people. We then take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of existing adaptations to operating systems. Based on this analysis we describe some requirements for user interfaces the usability for visually impaired people without losing the attractiveness and intuitiveness for the sighted. We finally describe a prototype of a special IRC-Client, called BIRC, and discuss its advantages and limitations.