Context understanding technology to improve Internet accessibility for users with

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$117,408.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43EY020082-01
Award Id:
96145
Agency Tracking Number:
EY020082
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
NEI
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, 88 HIGH COUNTRY RD, WEAVERVILLE, NC, 28787
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
155118362
Principal Investigator:
PHILIP SCHAEFER
(828) 645-1026
PHIL@VORTANT.COM
Business Contact:
PHILIP SCHAEFER
() -
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 d esired 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 e xist 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 s uccinct, 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 conf idence 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 increas e in the quality of life.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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