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Context understanding technology to improve Internet accessibility for users with

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43EY020082-01
Agency Tracking Number: EY020082
Amount: $117,408.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NEI
Solicitation Number: PHS2010-2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC 88 HIGH COUNTRY RD
WEAVERVILLE, NC 28787
United States
DUNS: 155118362
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 PHILIP SCHAEFER
 (828) 645-1026
 PHIL@VORTANT.COM
Business Contact
 PHILIP SCHAEFER
Phone: (828) 645-1026
Email: liz@vortant.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this SBIR project is to develop a new tool to improve the ability of blind and visually impaired people to quickly get to the right web pages, to avoid ending up on the wrong web pages, and to reach the desired part of the web page efficiently. The motivation for this project is that getting a 'big picture' understanding of a web page is one of the biggest challenges facing visually impaired computer users. Although tools such as screen readers currently exist to convert the text on web pages to audible speech, this solves only a small part of the problem. Existing tools for the visually impaired present the entire web page serially, in full detail, and if the user is not already familiar with the website, it requires a laborious and time- consuming process to read through sometimes hundreds of text objects before knowing whether anything of interest even exists on the page in question. In contrast, the proposed technology analyzes web pages and provides a succinct, informative synopsis of the context of the text and layout of the page, so that a user quickly gains an understanding of where relevant information can be found on the page. The proposed Phase I project involves working with users and instructors to verify the concept, creation of proof-of-concept software to perform the above analysis, and an end-user evaluation study to verify that the new tool, designed to work in conjunction with a market-leading screen reader, improves their abilities and confidence in Internet browsing. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The RandD in this Phase II SBIR project will result in an improved way to use the Internet for individuals with visual disabilities. The technology will help to overcome the lack of accessibility and high level of frustration currently found among blind and visually impaired users. The results of the project will enable such individuals to explore new opportunities and be more productive, thus providing improved employment potential and an increase in the quality of life.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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