Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Edward L. Counts

Committee Members

Ralph Brockett, Lois Symington, Jay Pfaffman

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences and perceptions of three computer users with visual disabilities as they accessed and reviewed Web pages on the Internet. Attention is focused on the use of the Internet by individuals with visual disabilities: blindness, low vision, and deaf/blindness.

Data were gathered through interviews and observation, during eight sessions with each participant. Data were qualitatively analyzed using an inductive process (Hatch, 2002). Data analysis revealed six categories of meaning: interactions with computer; personal characteristics, strategies to find solutions to barriers encountered; personal feeling and opinions; design features, and communication.

Sites viewed included commercial, educational, non-profit, and governmental sites. Interviews consisted of structured and unstructured questions.

The knowledge gained in this study will add to the literature of Web Accessibility and will contribute to raising awareness of the barriers that computer users with visual disabilities encounter when using the Internet.

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