A generic model for un-interfered access to streaming audio files by the visually impaired
The use of multimedia content has increased dramatically over the last few years, but people with limited or no vision have not been able to fully enjoy the benefits of these advances because most of the content has been developed with intricate structures strongly optimized for sighted users, while the assistive technologies designed are not able to fully assist them to access all the content. The study aimed to identify technologies used by the visually impaired in accessing information especially through the Internet, the challenges that they encounter and identify suitable ways to overcome these challenges. This has involved reviewing how the visually impaired access computers and ultimately the Internet, while understanding the concept of non-visual browsing and the user interfaces which assist them. Various Web navigation strategies as highlighted by previous researchers using screen readers and other assistive mechanisms have also been analyzed together with the possible solutions which they have tried to implement. The research has resulted in the design of an interactive model aimed at improving information accessibility and providing people with visual impairments a level of control more comparable to a sighted person while accessing multimedia information in form of streaming audio. Users are able to listen to different sound sources without losing track of the screen-reading software because of the sound of the streaming video. This will ultimately lead to increased access to many kinds of files by the visually impaired including streaming multimedia audio with minimal or no interference of speech from screen readers. Included also are suggestions for further exploratory works that would further enhance information access.