Assistive technology : going beyond the disability

This paper is part of the ongoing research into designing and developing an Essentiality and Proficiency tool. The tool is a proxy service that will enable the user to view web content in a manner most beneficial to them. The research has stemmed from the inaccessibility of the web content even though standards and legislations such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 have come in to place (Elizabeth 1995; Brewer 1999). The paper will concentrate on the need to establish user profiles to ensure the tool can be used by all. However, for the purpose of my PhD research I have concentrated on the visually impaired as this is identified as the largest disability group (Kottapally, Ngo et al. 2003; Gooday and Christopherson 2004).