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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 billion people (16% of the global population) experience a significant disability today. That’s where Artificial Intelligence is helping disabled people to navigate and interact with Drupal websites while staying in line with Web Control Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG.) In the blog article, you will learn how AI is changing the face of Web accessibility and enabling people, irrespective of physical ability, to use Web applications.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web Accessibility is the concept of building an inclusive web application that allows users of any level of physical ability or impairments to consume and interact with websites. According to WCAG, there are various disabilities that web developers must take into account, such as visual, physical, auditory, speech recognition, language, cognitive, and learning impairments. The WCAG regulations say that there are four principles of Web accessibility - Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.
To test whether a web application is following the rules, there are three levels of conformance such as A (Low-level,) AA, and AAA (High-level.) If the score is AAA, that doesn’t mean it is 100% compliant, and any person can access the website. There is always room for improvement for people with complex disabilities to smoothly interact with applications.
AI Solutions for Drupal Web Accessibility
As Drupal is an early adopter of WCAG regulations, the open-source CMS contains robust plugins and built-in solutions to make websites more accessible.
1. Alt text for Images
Alt text is the textual description of the images, and failure to implement can lead to missing important information for the impaired user. For example, a user with a disability using an E-commerce website may face difficulties when trying to make purchasing decisions if they are unable to grasp the product displayed in the image. With the help of a module, "Automatic Alt Text," in Drupal, it will be automatically added to the images or can be done manually by altering the HTML code.
2. Speech Recognition
Deaf or limited hand mobility people find it hard to provide certain instructions to the computer for performing specific tasks. Speech recognition helps such users to transcribe spoken words into written texts. Individuals with physical disabilities often depend on speech recognition software to operate their computers, but this requires websites and applications to be correctly programmed. With the help of artificial intelligence, such as Machine learning algorithms, the speech to text translation can be done with higher accuracy.
3. Audio & Video Transcription
Audio & video transcription allows for converting spoken words in audio or video recordings into written text. If a video on the website contains information about various services/products, the content can be transcribed into text format. Drupal contains plugins and built-in modules that allow for the automatic deciphering of various resources within the web application.
4. Text recognition & Summarization
Text recognition & Summarization allows for extracting and condensing text from unstructured sources into a shorter summary. For example, users with cognitive and learning impairments will benefit hugely if the article contains a summary and highlights key points. Text recognition can be done using technology such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software.
5. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
NLP can help improve the accessibility of a Drupal website by allowing users to interact with the site using natural language. This technology can be used to create chatbots and voice assistants that can understand and respond to user queries in a more human-like manner.
6. Screen Reader Optimization
Screen readers are software programs that read the contents of a website aloud for visually impaired users. AI technology can be used to optimize Drupal websites for screen readers by ensuring that the website's HTML is properly structured and that all content is tagged appropriately. This can help make the website more accessible and easier to navigate for visually impaired users.
What are the Barriers to Web Accessibility?
The technology around Web Accessibility isn’t perfect yet. Various improvements are happening in the industry, and market leaders are confident that future innovations will make Web Accessible to everyone. If a video includes important visual content on the Drupal website, it will be difficult for blind people to understand the context behind the source.
Users with disabilities who use the keyboard to navigate web applications, such as a dropdown menu, may experience a negative user experience which results in a higher bounce rate if the website is not optimized. Another obstacle is the website's color contrast. Understanding the content will be harder if the text and background color are similar. As the technology is still early, developers will make many advances in the coming days. LN Webworks offers Drupal web services that aim to eliminate barriers and ensure an inclusive user experience by making websites accessible to all.
Future of AI and Drupal Website Accessibility
With the support of AI, the future of Web Accessibility looks promising. In the future, AI-powered tools will play an essential role in providing a personalized experience by automatically adjusting website content, color schemes, and other features to suit the needs of users with certain disabilities.
As the technology keeps upgrading, new accessibility features will be rolled out considering people of all situations. There will be more emphasis on inclusive design in web applications. Government and other credible organizations will pass laws & regulations to make the Web Accessible, and businesses will be forced to use Artificial Intelligence to build inclusive web apps. Already there exist Drupal modules such as ‘Accefssibility Helper’ to analyze applications content and improve accessibility, and such features are likely to continue in the future.
Artificial Intelligence is worth the hype, considering its rapid development and robust features to build inclusive web applications for everyone to use and interact effortlessly with the websites. As Drupal is the leader in building and managing Web-accessible applications, it's time for businesses to make the right decision and build robust web applications.
At LN Webworks, a Drupal web development company in India & USA, our developers are experts in building applications tailored to your needs while complying with the WCAG regulations. Get in touch with us now to utilize our Drupal consulting solutions that incorporate Artificial Intelligence to transform your business website.