Promoting accessibility by using metadata in the framework of a semantic-web driven CMS

Rocío García-Robles, Fernando Díaz del Río, Antón Civit, Juan Antonio Prieto


Web content accessibility for impaired people has been mainly addressed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C Consortium. Those guidelines have proved to be good diagnostic means for testing accessibility for different types of impairments, as well as for guiding the development of accessible content. A further step would be to promote discovery of material having appropriate accessibility support, as well as the adjustment of control and display of resources to meet user accessibility needs and preferences. The last two challenges have been addressed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium in the IMS-AccessForAll (ACCMD) and the IMS Learner Information Profile (ACCLIP) specifications. Although IMS has approached both goals in a learning framework, both accessibility specifications pay a special attention to impaired users' needs. As a first step, in this paper we survey how far IMS accessibility specifications cover WCAG, and discuss the convenience of extending it to the whole WAI guidelines. Secondly, we argue how accessibility could be considered as a key issue for promoting reusability. We continue explaining why using a semantic framework (such as the MPEG-7 semantic tool, RDF or OWL) for describing textual and contextual information in a standardized manner could promote both, accessibility and reusability. Finally, we explain how some accessibility issues have been already addressed by XimetriX's ximDEX, a semantic-web Content Management System (CMS). We conclude proposing a plan to better integrate the accessibility specifications and contextual description tools into that CMS.

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