Authors: Joanne Kuzma, Sue Barnes, Klaus Oestreicher
Addresses: University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK. ' University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK. ' University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK
Abstract: The rise of online forums has benefited disabled users, who take advantage of better communications and more inclusion into society. However, even with accessibility laws that are supposed to provide disabled people the same equal access as non-disabled users, sites have erected technical barriers, such as CAPTCHAs that prevent users from taking full advantage of site capability. This study analyses 150-online forums to determine if sites use CAPTCHAs, and what types are used. Each variety presents accessibility problems to disabled users and the results of the research show that most sites use text-based CAPTCHAs, but rarely provide alternatives that would help users with visual disabilities. The research presents alternatives that site designers may wish to consider in order to allow more disabled users to access their sites.
Keywords: public Turing test; CAPTCHA; accessibility; web design; online forums; technical barriers; site capability; disabled users; visual disabilities; vision; web based communities; online communities; virtual communities.
International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2011 Vol.7 No.3, pp.312 - 323
Published online: 13 Jul 2011 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article