Welcome, this page is intentionally without visual content. Use the Tab Key, and the command, Shift plus Tab, to navigate the page. On Safari, use option plus tab to focus inline elements like links. Press Escape to pause and resume the audio narration. By using the H Key, and, Shift plus H, you can jump between headlines within a page.

Challenging the face of the web: An experimental interface approach.

Bachelor thesis project by Niclas Hedemann

This website is part of my bachelor thesis as a practical and experimental approach to web interfaces in the context of disability.

I intended to develop a website that makes explicit the assumed, normative user positions on the internet and challenges users occupying them to recognize the ways in which blind users are disabled and discouraged in their use of the web.

This work focuses on the internet use of blind people. This is because of the great disruption the alternative user position of blind users presents to the normative use of the internet as a visual medium. Another reason is the need to limit the scope of the project, so that it is realizable as part of my thesis.

As you can hear, the resulting website presents its content in a way similar to how blind users experience the web - by audio narration. More details on how blind users access the web can be found on the page Introduction to Web Accessibility.

Content of this Website

On this website, I use this interface to present the theoretical background and the research that builds the foundation of my practical work.

The project is rooted in several fields of research. First, there is Disability Media Studies, a combination of the fields Disability Studies and Media Studies. Disability Media Studies provides an understanding of Disability as a social construct and it identifies the so-called normative user position. This is described in greater detail on the page Disability Media Studies.

Second, there is the field of New Media Studies. One of its contributions to Accessibility is the concept of the separation of form and content, that is essential to practical implementation of digital accessibility. More on this and other important concepts can be found on the page Introduction to Web Accessibility.

One important motivation for this project was the current state of web accessibility. While literature and blind users interviewed for this project testify that the existing technology is sufficient to develop accessible websites for users that are visually impaired, the implementation of such technologies is widely inadequate. An approximation of the state of accessibility is provided on the page linked above.