Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Chris Lupo

Abstract

As mobile technologies advance, accessibility features of smartphones are continu- ously improving and becoming more prevalent. It is essential that the user interaction design of mobile applications provides equal access and equal service to all our com- munity, especially for people with disabilities. However, there are no general mobile accessibility design guidelines publicly available. This paper reviews the web acces- sibility development guidelines as a reference, and the current accessibility features provided by modern mobile operating systems.

It is proposed in this paper to use interactive spoken dialogues as the user interac- tion framework for accessible mobile applications. The idea is realized by the design and implementation of an Android application, AccessibleToolKit. AccessibleToolKit is developed to help visually impaired users to dial a phone number, manage alarms and the calendar.

A usability study of AccessibleToolKit is conducted to evaluate the user experi- ence. Based on the feedback from the study, the design of AccessibleToolKit is refined to provide a more user-friendly experience. The performance of AccessibleToolKit is measured and compared with the performance of native apps. The comparison shows that AccessibleToolKit allow a user to perform commonly used tasks more efficiently. This study shows that using interactive spoken dialogues as the user interaction frame- work is a promising approach to develop accessible mobile applications.

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