The Project

Why is the Easy Reading Project important?

Many web-pages are difficult to access for people with cognitive disabilities. The needs of these users aren’t fully covered in current accessibility guidelines yet and developers often aren’t familiar with these users either.

But web-pages should be accessible to everyone and not only some people. It’s an important aspect of inclusion that information are equally accessible. And while the education of developers about accessibility issues is important, it will also take time until every web-page is adjusted.

Therefore, the EasingReading project develops a software for users with cognitive disabilities that supports them to access any existing web-page.
Personalization of web-content

What is the EasyReading software?

The EasyReading software framework is a support tool that users can install on their computer. It will provide help by adjusting web content in real time based on the individual users needs. With the software every user can see a personalized version of any existing web-page. There are three main support features:

  • Adjustment of layout and structure of web-pages
  • Explanation of web content with symbols, pictures and videos
  • Translation of content into a different language level, e.g. Plain Language or Easy-to-Read, symbol writing systems

The software provides these (semi-)automated support features by using Human-computer interaction (HCI) techniques like pop-ups, Text-To-Speech (TTS), captions through mouse-over or eye-tracking. This allows the user to remain and work within the original digital document.

The different support features adapt to each user through a personal profile. These profiles are developed with sensor based tracking and reasoning of e.g. the level of performance, understanding, preferences, mood, attention, context and the individual learning curve.

The personalisation is only done on demand. The users can decide if they want to see the original web-page or a personalized version.

The “Easy Reading” framework is planned as a cloud based, open source and freely available support infrastructure.

How will the software be developed?

The involvement of user with cognitive disabilities is the foundation of the project. The users know best their real needs and complications.

Therefore, people with cognitive disabilities work as co-researchers in all phases of the project and drive the research and development process for “their” solutions. This ensures that the requirements of the target group are considered in each phase of development.

Who can profit from the software?

Everyone with limited reading and language skills can profit from the software. This includes people with cognitive disabilities, older people or people with a different mother tongue.

Additionally, many more people will enjoy exploring new and unfamiliar content using personalised access.