Assistive Technology Research Institute
College Misericordia - Dallas, PA 18612
Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of Dallas


ATRI 2005 Conference Business Track


Business Track

Your Online Customer?This workshop is suited for web designers, businesses with elderly or disabled customers, and businesses using the internet for sales. It will focus on resources for accessible web design, how accessible design affects usability for non-disabled customers, and how to make a business website attractive, usable, and accessible.

Business Track Schedule

  • 8:00–8:30
    • Banks Center
    • Registration  
  • 8:30–8:45
  • 8:45–9:45
    • Banks Center, K ennedy A and B
    • Universal Design—Why Policy Matters
    • Bill Peterson, Director, Homeland Security, Section 508 Program
    • The federal government has passed numerous laws that have focused on everything from civil rights legislation to accessibility mandates. This talk will focus on the cumulative effects that federal legislation - and non-legislative activities - have had on breaking down the wall of inequality for persons with disabilities and promoting the concept of universal design.
  • 9:45–10:00
    • Break
  • 10:00–11:15
    • Library, McGowan Room
    • Accessibility and Usability: Designing for accessibility benefits all users
    • Denis Anson MS, OTR, RESNA Fellow
    • Although federal standards and World Wide Web Consortium standards have, for some time, provided requirements for websites to be considered accessible to individuals with disabilities, surveys indicate that over 80% of the World Wide Web is inaccessible to some individuals with disabilities. In part, this is because web developers do not understand the impact of their design decisions, and in part it is because many businesses do not consider providing access to a few individuals with disabilities to be worth the investment of time and resources required.
    • This workshop will present the results of a study investigating the effects of using accessibility guidelines on the usability of websites for able-bodied users. Participants will learn the impact of accessible design on the time required to navigate a website, the success of users in locating specific information, and the likelihood of returning to a website. In addition, the user experience will be contrasted between conventional and accessible designs.
    • The Accessibility and Usability slides are now available. These can be opened in PowerPoint, or in the presentation component of
  • 11:15–12:30
    • Elders shopping on the World Wide WebLunch
  • 12:30–1:45
    • Library, McGowan Room
    • Common barriers to accessibility and usability in conventional web pages
    • Denis Anson MS, OTR, RESNA Fellow
      Roger Smith, PhD , RESNA Fellow
    • Although 80% of the World Wide Web is inaccessible to individuals with disabilities, we prefer to believe that web designers do not maliciously design pages to exclude individuals with disabilities. Rather, we suggest that most web designers are simply unaware of the implications of their design decisions on accessibility, and of the similar impact of these decisions on usability. Participants in this workshop will learn how design decisions affect the usability of web pages for both individuals with disabilities and for customers who do not have an identified disability. Specific design features will be discussed, with demonstration of the impact on usability and accessibility.
    • The Common Barriers to Web Accesibility slides are now available. These can be opened in PowerPoint, or in the presentation component of
  • 1:45–2:00
    • Break
  • 2:00–3:15
    • Library, McGowan Room
    • Accessibility Doesn’t Mean Dull: Using web technologies to provide visually attractive pages while maintaining accessibility.
    • Denis Anson MS, OTR, RESNA Fellow
    • The ideal website would be visually attractive and easily used by visitors using a standard graphical browser, but also be easily used by those using smaller browsers on their cell phones or PDAs, and by users who cannot see the screen or use the mouse to navigate the site. This workshop will explore available design techniques that allow pages to have visual elements that support the typical visitor using a graphical interface, but also support access to the website by individuals using “non-standard” browsers or assistive technology devices.
    • While not a tutorial in the use of web technologies, this workshop will provide users with information about what is possible, and where to find more detailed information on how to use the available technologies.
    • The Accessibility Doesn't Have to Mean Dull slides are now available. These can be opened in PowerPoint, or in the presentation component of
  • 3:15–4:00
    • Banks Center, Kennedy A and B
    • Outcomes Assessment: Measuring the success of assistive technology and universal design interventions
    • Roger Smith, PhD , RESNA Fellow
    • There are significant challenges in measuring assistive technology outcomes. Current strategies and projects related to these challenges will be discussed. The presentation will highlight the work at the R2D2 Center (Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability) which aims to provide an interdisciplinary home for basic research, applied research and development, as well as innovative instruction related to technology and disability and the ATOMS Project (Assistive Technology Outcomes Measurement System) related to the measurement of assistive technology universal design outcomes. The ATOMS Project is a five year assistive technology outcomes and impacts project funded in part by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • 4:00–4:15
    • Banks Center, Kennedy A and B
    • Wrap up and evaluation
    • Helen Speziale