Internet for all
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Internet for All. Internationalisation beyond English Accessibility for disabled Access as a necessity, not a luxury. Internet for All. Internet/Web should be available for everyone, including People who don ’ t know English People with disabilities

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Internet for All

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Internet for all

Internet for All

  • Internationalisation beyond English

  • Accessibility for disabled

  • Access as a necessity, not a luxury.

Internet for all1

Internet for All

  • Internet/Web should be available for everyone, including

    • People who don’t know English

    • People with disabilities

  • Be aware of this when designing websites and software!

International internet

International Internet

  • Character sets

  • Localised web sites

  • Computer translation

Character sets

Character Sets

  • ASCII – only English

    • Standard in USA?

    • Still used for Internet names

  • Latin1 – also other W Euro Latin alpha

    • French, German, Swedish, …

    • Accented chars, eg é ß å æ

    • Other, eg £ ¿

    • Standard in UK



  • Unicode

    • Add support for Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, …

      • Also Linear B, Cherokee, hieroglyphics, …


  • Unicode is just a character set, need to install font as well

    • Complete Unicode font came with Office 2003



  • In principle supported by all major programming languages, web browsers, operating systems, etc.

    • Problems can arise, though

    • Java support for Unicode is not perfect

Bidirectional texts

Bidirectional texts

  • English written left-to-right

  • Hebrew, Arabic written right-to-left

    • But embedded English left-to-right

    • Does strange things to page layout

Touchscreen input

Touchscreen Input

International domain name

International Domain Name

  • Internet software/standards assume names are in ASCII

    • -- OK

    • www.uqué -- not OK

      • instead

  • Unfair ….

International domain names

International Domain Names

  • International Domain Names (IDN)

    • Allow Unicode in names

    • Based on encoding Unicode as ASCII

  • Spread is slow

    • Standard now agreed, but not yet universally implemented.

    • ICANN will allow Unicode top-level domains



  • Web sites “localised” for different places

    • Language, currency, text direction, etc

      • Spelling: eg, colour vs color

    • Local news, offers

    • Culturally differences

      • Images: modestly dressed women for muslims

      • Names: Icelanders don’t have last names



  • In-depth:

    • Requires a lot of work!

  • Shallower:



  • Making one web site (or Java app) which is maximally useful worldwide

    • Language: simple English

    • Forms: allow Unicode, don’t assume people have last names or postal codes

    • Avoid images that might offend some



  • Ultimate goal is to let people read web pages in other languages


    • Quality variable, (slowly) getting better

    • Widely used by many non-English speakers

Accessible internet

Accessible Internet

  • Not everyone uses mouse and (touch)screen to access the Internet!

  • Web accessibility should address their needs, including:

    • Visual, motor, auditory, cognitive disabilities and those affected by seizures.

  • How to help such people use the Internet?

    • With a little bit of effort, developers can really enhance accessibility.

Visual disabilities

Visual Disabilities

  • Colour-blind

    • Developers: don’t assume people can see when something is red!

  • Poor vision

    • Need large fonts and screen magnifiers


      • It may “look nice” to you, but means someone with poor vision cannot use it

Visual disabilities1

Visual Disabilities

  • Blind

    • Screen readers: speak out web pages

    • Braille displays: display text in braille

    • Embossed printers: print braille

  • Screen readers most common

    • Essentially scan through a web page

    • Developers:

      • Include ALT tags for images

      • Remember that blind user will not “see” entire page!

Motor disabilities

Motor Disabilities

  • Poor hand control

    • Use keyboard instead of mouse

    • Developers: allow keyboard control!!

  • No hand control (or no hands)

    • scanning interface, controlled by switch

      • Assistive tech., head switch, sip/puff

      • Maybe Eye tracking.

    • Need special interface

    • Often expensive

Example scanning interface

Example: Scanning interface



  • If sound or spoken word is used, may need to find alternative ways to convey content to deaf or hard of hearing users.

Cognitive disability

Cognitive Disability

  • General

    • Keep things simple and clear

  • Dyslexia

    • Avoid white backgrounds,

    • don’t justify texts (stretch to fit column),

    • avoid italics



  • Be aware that photoepileptic seizures can be caused by flashing flights, particularly repeated strobe effects.



  • Plenty of guidelines exist


  • Following them makes websites more useful to disabled people, probably helps normal people as well

    • Helps mobile access in particular

  • Just need to make the effort!

Accessibility guidelines

Accessibility Guidelines

  • The W3C has provided a set of web content accessibility guidelines

  • Now accepted as ISO/IEC 40500:2012.

Legal aspects

Legal Aspects

  • Increasing legal requirement that websites be accessible to disabled

    • Especially for (quasi-)government sites, such as Aberdeen University

    • E.g., the Jodhan decision in Canada.

  • Good business sense as well

    • Biggest disabled group is elderly, and they have lots of money to spend

Legal aspects uk

Legal Aspects (UK)

  • UK Equality Act. E.G. The RNIB says it may be unlawful for a website to:

    • ``have links on that are not accessible to a screen reader

    • have application forms (for instance, for bank accounts or job application forms) in a PDF format that cannot be read by a screen reader

    • have core service information (for instance, timetables on a public transport website) that is not in a format accessible to screen readers.

    • use text, colour contrasting and formatting that make the website inaccessible to a partially sighted service user

    • change security procedures (for instance, on an e-commerce website) without considering the impact of blind and partially sighted customers that use screen readers.’’

Internet for all2

Internet For All

  • Developers (us) have moral duty to make our products available to all

    • People with limited English

    • People with disabilities

  • Also legal duty, sensible business

  • Tools exist, we need to use them!

Recap helping everyone

Recap: Helping Everyone

  • Internet should benefit everyone.

  • Essential for fair society!

Helping everyone

Helping Everyone

  • How should Internet be used in third-world countries?

    • Bangladesh vs India vs Chile

    • Much use via mobile devices now.

  • How can Internet help people at “bottom of heap” in UK?

    • Will growth of Internet hurt people who cannot or will not use it?

Helping everyone1

Helping Everyone

  • How can we make websites universally useful?

    • Non-English speakers

    • disabled

  • How should the Internet be controlled (governed)?

    • So that it helps everyone!

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