Metadata for user-centred, inclusive access to digital resources: realising the theory of AccessForAll Accessibility

Nevile, E 2009, Metadata for user-centred, inclusive access to digital resources: realising the theory of AccessForAll Accessibility, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospacial Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Metadata for user-centred, inclusive access to digital resources: realising the theory of AccessForAll Accessibility
Author(s) Nevile, E
Year 2009
Abstract To be inclusive, the Web needs published resources to be matched to individual users’ needs and preferences for their perception and control. In a decade, this has not been achieved and many cannot make use of resources despite having appropriate facilities. This thesis argues that the necessary management of resources can be achieved with well-designed metadata. Demonstration and explanation of the accessibility problems, efforts to solve them and the current state of inaccessibility of Web resources, any resource that is available through the World Wide Web, is fundamental to the research.

The author relies heavily on Dublin Core metadata as it is relatively easy to use; is probably the most populous metadata; can be managed with free software systems, and for commercial reasons. The research investigated what makes DC metadata, so apparently simple, powerful enough to be the most popular metadata because there is very little available that explains this. The thesis then documents the scientific view of metadata upon which effective use of metadata can be based in the context of accessibility. It argues, at a practical level, that metadata is essential and integral to any shift to an on-going process approach to accessibility. It contributes to the science of metadata in as much as it analyses, synthesizes, and articulates the characteristics of an essential infrastructure for a new approach to accessibility.

The author argues in favour of an on-going process approach to accessibility of resources that supports continuous improvement of any given resource, not necessarily by the author of the resource, and not necessarily by design or with knowledge of the original author, by contributors who may be distributed globally. The thesis argues that the current dependence on production guidelines and post-production evaluation of resources as either universally accessible or otherwise, does not adequately provide for either the accessibility necessary for individuals or the continuous or evolutionary approach possible within the current Web environment. It argues that a distributed, social-networking view of the Web as interactive, combined with a social model of disability, given the management tools of machine-readable, interoperable AccessForAll metadata, as developed, can achieve the desired goals. It raises issues regarding its implementation in the distributed environment of the Web.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospacial Sciences
Keyword(s) AccessForAll
accessibility
metadata
Dublin Core
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Created: Thu, 23 Dec 2010, 10:30:26 EST by Guy Aron
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