2001 Conference Proceedings

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E-Commerce Made Easy: Which sites are accessible and how can you access them?

Richard Fox
De Witt & Associates
700 Godwin Avenue
Midland Park, NJ 07432
(201) 447-6500
E-mail: Richardf@dewittassociates.net

E-commerce on the World Wide Web has exploded over the last several years. Consumers can now purchase virtually all of their daily needs online and have those items delivered to their door. Unfortunately, too many of these sites are not accessible to people with visual impairments. This seminar will detail many of the e-commerce sites that are currently accessible, and provide tips and tricks on how to make them even easier to use.

Our Director of Sales & Marketing will explore:

Which e-commerce sites are currently most accessible to the visually impaired computer user for: Basic daily needs, such as groceries, clothing and health care products? Other popular sites such as books, CD’s and electronics? What makes an e-commerce site inaccessible? Is it merely a question of a text version? Is it merely providing text tags? Is it other factors? Which screen readers or self-voicing browsers provide the best access to e-commerce sites? JFW, Window-Eyes, PW Webspeak and IBM Homepage Reader are all good products to use when navigating the web. However, sometimes one works better with a particular site’s layout. In particular, because of the different way in which they access information, both Webspeak and HomePage reader react somewhat differently from screen readers in their interpretation of a web site’s content. Supplementing use of a screen reader with these products can sometimes provide additional information needed to navigate a site. Tips and tricks that make web sites easier to access. Common complaints about web site accessibility include too much clutter and improperly labeled graphics and buttons. Even sites that are generally accessible, can sometimes have features that make the pages difficult to use. We will present techniques to navigate overcrowded web sites to get directly to the desired information. Working to make web shopping more accessible. EnableLink.com, the first online web portal specifically for people who are blind or visually impaired is owned and operated by De Witt & Associates. We shall discuss what features have been added to make shopping on EnableLink easy. We will outline what our company is doing to help less accessible shopping sites become easier to use.


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