Designing with and for the visually impaired: vocabulary, spelling and the screen reader

Verena Stein, Robert Neßelrath, Jan Alexandersson, Johannes Tröger

In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU-11). International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU-11) 3rd May 6-8 Noordwijkerhout Netherlands Seiten 462-467 SciTePress 2011.


For visually impaired people it is both usable and effective to study foreign language vocabulary and spelling with an auditory e-learning device. Amongst visually impaired computer users there is a growing preference for the screen reader over the braille line. Unfortunately, this exposes them even less to the written word. However, spelling is considered one of the biggest challenges for visually impaired people who study a foreign language. Existing computer-assisted vocabulary learning software is often designed for sighted users and information is lost when they are accessed with a screen reader. This paper discusses the successful evaluation of a prototype of an auditory vocabulary and spelling trainer (AVoS) and explains how essential it is to involve the target group in the development process. The paper presents the results of an online survey amongst 88 adults with visual impairments in Germany. The survey clearly indicates who would benefit from an auditory vocabulary and spelling trainer and which features would make it usable.

ATTeL_2011_11_CR.pdf (pdf, 91 KB)

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence