UCL Centre for Digital Humanities


Creating usable websites for people with learning disabilities

02 March 2011, 1:05 pm–1:50 pm

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Foster Court, G31

Much literature emanating from academia, learning disability organisations and government emphasises the need for the social inclusion of people with Learning Disabilities (LD). Peter Williams will talk about his study consisting of usability testing with people with LD using accessible websites. This Painless Introduction will focus primarily on how usability tests are used to investigate different aspects of websites ('menu' lists, layout and navigation) and different activities (information retrieval, expressing preferences).

Although the Internet may facilitate information access, much relevant material is inaccessible to people with LD. However, there is little empirical evidence regarding which accessibility measures actually aid website use, and some of it is conflicting. Various 'accessible' websites, incorporating layouts with different features to address the issues elicited, will be compared, and various measures (preferences, task success etc.) analysed using conjoint analysis.

Peter Williams is Research Fellow in the research group CIBER based in the UCL Department of Information Studies. He has investigated the use of the Internet and other ICT applications in the fields of education, health, scholarly communication/research, and the news media. He is also a Research Associate at the Rix Centre, a charity based at University of East London and is currently working on a project jointly with the British Library on the implications for research library service provision of digital tools and applications.