Deep Analysis of the Web Accessibility and Usability of Videoconferencing Platforms for Blind People
Authors: Tania Calle-Jimenez, Bryan Munoz
Abstract: During the COVID 19 pandemic, the use of virtual videoconferencing platforms increased considerably. Most of the group activities associated with this are conducted remotely, whichinvolves technological change affecting people, especially blind people. These videoconferencing platforms are hosted on the web, causing visually impaired users to enter a new era of communication with all its accessibility barriers and usability issues. For this reason, a systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted which allowed us to determine the level of web accessibility that these platforms have, the studies and all the implementations that are being conducted to mitigate this problem. In addition, the web accessibility of the three most widely-used videoconferencing platforms for both work and education was evaluated. Automated tools were used, individual tests were performed, accessibility guidelines (WCAG 3.0) were applied to determine the level of web accessibility, and usability tests were performed on a group of visually impaired individuals. The methods used were: Think Aloud (TA), the System Usability Scale Test (SUS) and Nielsen’s 10 Heuristic Usability Principles. The results of these tests and methods indicate that the selected videoconferencing platforms do not meet the minimum requirements for web accessibility, and that the level of usability is low. Therefore, changes need to be made and new implementations need to be developed with regard to these tools, so that visually impaired users can navigate the platforms smoothly and without any problems.
Keywords: Evaluation tools, web accessibility, videoconferencing platforms, visual impairment, blind people, WCAG 3.0, usability
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