Optimizing the user environment : leading towards an accessible and usable experience

Although standards and legislation such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 have come into place, the inaccessibility of web content still exists. This paper presents the Essentiality and Proficiency Tool. The tool is a proxy service that will enable the user to view web content in accordance with their individual needs. A prototype has been developed and tested, highlighting insights into user patterns. The paper will explore the importance of universal design in making the Internet more accessible. It will further explore how user profiles endorse universal design, leading to a more usable experience. Although the emphasis is on a universal tool we start by concentrating on users with visual impairments as this is identified as the largest disability group.