DOC

accessible E-COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA

By Corey Bradley,2014-04-17 23:28
16 views 0
accessible E-COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA: A DISCUSSION PAPER ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF ELECTRONIC

    COMMERCE DEVELOPMENTS ON PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

    Prepared By

    Tim Noonan

    SoftSpeak Computer Services

    On Behalf of

    Blind Citizens Australia

    With Funding from

    The Commonwealth Government's

    'AccessAbility Grants Program'

    Now part of

    'Networking the Nation'

    Version 1.0, last updated: September 1999

Copyright ? 1999

    SoftSpeak Computer Services &

    Blind Citizens Australia

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

     EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW ......................................................................................... iv PREFACE .................................................................................................................. v Accessible E-Commerce Workshops ..................................................................... v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................................... vi 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Some Key Accessible E-Commerce Developments and Papers ............................ 2 1.2 Project Background ................................................................................................. 3 1.3 What is the Problem? .............................................................................................. 4 1.4 What is Electronic Commerce? ............................................................................... 5 1.5 Project Scope People with Disabilities ................................................................. 7 2 SHOPPING ......................................................................................................... 9 2.1 Modes of Shopping ................................................................................................. 9 2.2 Catalogues and Packaging ................................................................................... 11 2.3 Barcodes ............................................................................................................... 11 2.4 Paying for Goods .................................................................................................. 12 3 BANKING AND FINANCE ................................................................................ 15 3.1 Selecting a Banking Institution .............................................................................. 15 3.2 Telephone Banking ............................................................................................... 15 3.3 Self-service Banking (ATMs) ................................................................................. 16 3.4 Internet Banking .................................................................................................... 19 3.5 Accessing Financial Information, Statements Etc. ................................................ 21 4 USING THE INTERNET TO GO ONLINE ......................................................... 23 4.1 Internet Usage Statistics ....................................................................................... 24 4.2 Getting Connected ................................................................................................ 25 4.3 Selecting a browser .............................................................................................. 27 4.4 Learning to Use Windows and the Web ................................................................ 28 4.5 Accessing Websites .............................................................................................. 29 4.6 Making Purchases on the Web ............................................................................. 31 4.7 Internet Shopping Resources ................................................................................ 33 4.8 Emerging Internet Developments .......................................................................... 33 4.9 Security of Information on the Net ......................................................................... 35 5 INFORMATION &TRANSACTIONS OVER THE TELEPHONE ....................... 36 6 VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY.......................................................................... 37

     ii

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    6.1 Drivers licence ...................................................................................................... 38 6.2 Retinal Scans ........................................................................................................ 38 6.3 Facial recognition .................................................................................................. 38 6.4 Voice Print verification .......................................................................................... 39 6.5 Optional PIN Entry for People with Disabilities ...................................................... 39 7 SOME EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES ............................................................. 40 7.1 Information Kiosks (Information and Transaction Machines) ................................ 40 7.2 Screen and Web Phones ...................................................................................... 42 7.3 Smart Appliances .................................................................................................. 42 7.4 JAVA ..................................................................................................................... 43 7.5 Windows CE ......................................................................................................... 45 8 AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AND TRANSACTIONS ........ 46 8.1 Stated Government Commitments ........................................................................ 47 8.2 Stated Government Strategic Directions ............................................................... 48 8.3 Recent Developments and Documents ................................................................. 50 8.4 Telstra and the Government ................................................................................. 50 8.5 Centrelink Developments ...................................................................................... 51 8.6 Government Transactions and Completing Forms ................................................ 52 9 DISABILITY RIGHTS LEGISLATION ............................................................... 54 10 PARTICIPATION IN EMPLOYMENT ............................................................ 55 11 BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED BY ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING

     56

    11.1 Copyright Law and Standards Efforts ................................................................... 58 11.2 Australian Copyright Law Reform ......................................................................... 59 11.3 Portable Document Format (PDF) ........................................................................ 61 11.4 XML ...................................................................................................................... 63 12 CONCLUSION .............................................................................................. 65 13 PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................ 66 13.1 General Recommendations .................................................................................. 66 13.2 Identified Areas for Future Accessible E-Commerce Work ................................... 67 13.3 UK Thinktank Disability-Related Recommendations ............................................. 68 14 SOME USEFUL RESOURCES ..................................................................... 69 15 TERMINOLOGY, ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS .............................. 70

     iii

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

    This discussion paper is one of a series of reports being produced as part of a project funded by the Commonwealth Government's 'AccessAbility Grants Program'. This research project is investigating the impact of electronic commerce on people in Australia with disabilities - particularly people who are blind or vision impaired. The most up-to-date version of this document can be accessed online at

    http://www.bca.org.au/ecrep.htm

    The report serves various purposes including: introducing the reader to E-Commerce concepts and developments; serving as a discussion starter about current and potential barriers that these technologies may present for people with disabilities in Australia; as well as providing pointers to products, services, research, guidelines and standards that are all working to improve access in the area.

    The project is also producing a related report discussing the impacts of smartcards and

    new electronic payment systems on people with disabilities in Australia. When completed, this smartcard report will be available online at http://www.bca.org.au/smartcard.htm The present report is aimed at E-Commerce professionals, Government, hardware and software developers, disability professionals, as well as people with disabilities. To date, the research has shown up two very major barriers to accessible E-Commerce in Australia. While these findings weren't a total surprise, the severity of the problem was certainly underestimated. These two barriers are:

    ; The huge lack of disability research in the E-Commerce area; and

    ; An unexpected general lack of awareness by the E-Commerce industry regarding

    disability and accessibility issues and research.

    A variety of day-to-day activities are examined from an E-Commerce and accessibility perspective including:

    ; Shopping, including selecting goods, accessing catalogues, paying for goods,

    barcodes, home delivery options etc;

    ; Banking and Finance, including selecting a bank, ATM issues, telephone and Internet

    banking, access to brochures and statements;

    ; Internet access, including getting online, selecting a browser, training issues, web

    design issues, buying on the Internet etc;

    ; Government information and transactions, including stated Information Economy

    priorities, Government E-Commerce developments, Telstra and the Government,

    Centrelink developments etc;

    ; Participation in employment;

    ; Implications of electronic publishing; and

    ; Emerging technologies including Java, Windows CE, Information Kiosks, screen and

    web phones, smart appliances, XML etc.

     iv

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    PREFACE

    This document was last updated in September 1999. This discussion paper is a ‗live‘ document and the online version is expected to be updated on a regular basis. Your feedback and suggestions for additions and improvements are sought by the Author. If you

    have any comments please send them to tnoonan@softspeak.com.au

    Many URIs (URLs) are included in this report. Please notify the author if any of these URLs

    have become outdated, at tnoonan@softspeak.com.au

    This document has been prepared using styles in Microsoft Word 9 (part of Office 2000). Every effort has been made to produce a document that presents well on paper, while also being a highly accessible online HTML document. In most cases alternative text has been included for web references, but the actual URLs are also provided in the document, for the benefit of readers of the print edition and those reading the report off-line. The HTML version of this document was produced with the recently released Word 9 HTML export filter, which is designed to produce a webpage with as close a ―look‖ as possible to

    the paper and on-screen word version, but while producing a smaller HTML file. This HTML version should be accessible by all browsers.

    If you encounter any difficulties accessing any versions of this document, please contact

    the Author by e-mail at tnoonan@softspeak.com.au

    Accessible E-Commerce Workshops

    We will be holding two ‗Accessible E-Commerce‘ workshops during November 1999. These

    sessions are targeted at all stake-holders with an interest in E-Commerce accessibility in Australia, including people working in the disability field, E-Commerce developers and implementers, representatives from Government, and people with disabilities. The first workshop will be held in Melbourne on Sunday 21 November 1999, and the second will be held in Sydney on Saturday 27 November 1999.

    In addition to these two major workshops, an ‗Accessible E-Commerce‘ presentation and

    mini-workshop will also be conducted during the 1999 Blind Citizens Australia Convention, being held in Brisbane, from the 15th to the 17th of October 1999.

    For information about the Convention, or the Melbourne or Sydney Workshops, please contact Blind Citizens Australia Head Office on 1 800 033 660. Or alternatively, for

    seminar registration details send e-mail to tnoonan@softspeak.com.au

     v

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I‘d like to thank the many people who have helped me in preparing this report and

    throughout the course of the ‗accessible E-Commerce‘ project. In particular I‘m indebted to

    Margaret Noonan, Susan Thompson, Geoff Hitchon, Bill Jolley, Michael Simpson and Karen Groeneveld for proofing, feedback and suggestions about the report and for their support and encouragement during the project;

    John Gill, Greg Vanderheiden, Al Gillman, Cynthia Waddell, David Mason, Ian Donald, Gunela Astbrink and Ray Ingram all provided me with input, ideas and assistance. The report has benefited greatly from the knowledge, pointers, references and ideas I gleaned from their excellent online resources in the areas of disability technology and electronic commerce.

    I‘d like to particularly thank Roger Clarke. His outstanding webpages on E-Commerce were

    an excellent introduction to the diversity and richness of the E-Commerce field, and strongly influenced the structure and scope of this report. Roger Clarke also provided me with some excellent leads and input during the course of the project.

     vi

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    1 INTRODUCTION

    This report has been prepared as part of a project funded by the 'AccessAbility Grants Program'. AccessAbility is a grants program administered by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, initiated in 1997, pursuant to the Investing for Growth statement and aimed at making online services more accessible for people with disabilities.

    The work has predominantly been carried out by Tim Noonan on behalf of Blind Citizens Australia Australia‘s national organization of people who are blind and vision impaired

    The most recent version of this report can be found on the Blind Citizens Australia website

    at http://www.bca.org.au/ecrep.htm

    Statistics from the ABS and a variety of other sources are demonstrating the momentum with which electronic commerce is taking hold in our society. More people are now using the Internet (at home, work and elsewhere) than ever before, more people are buying goods over the Internet, the banks are having increasing success with electronic banking (particularly Internet banking) and the Australian Government has the stated objective of implementing a world class model for delivery of all appropriate government services online by 2001, as well as an intention to eliminate the majority of paper-based requirements for the majority of financial transactions.

    Keith Hazelton, IT Architect at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says the following about E-Commerce:

    ―It is now possible to conduct virtually any traditional business

    function electronically, from marketing to sales to delivery to

    post-sales support to accounting, customer service and

    business-to-business links.‖

    Unfortunately, many of these exciting possibilities promised by E-Commerce may be denied to a significant number of Australians due to the lack of planning for and appropriate consideration of the particular needs of people with disabilities. Although the Government states that it wants the Information Economy to be accessible to all, until very recently, there is little evidence that it has yet put in place many mechanisms at all to actually achieve this goal.

    One of the primary purposes of this report is to clearly articulate the issues, the barriers, and the potential opportunities presented by this new era of technology and social change. As will be strongly emphasised in the subsequent sections of this document, this problem of E-Commerce inaccessibility is not a small one in fact, if not adequately addressed, it may

    have one of the most significant negative social impacts on people with disabilities than have any other social changes in the last 30 years.

     1

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    1.1 Some Key Accessible E-Commerce Developments and Papers This project, as well as the recently announced Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission‘s inquiry into the impacts of E-Commerce and new technologies

    on people who are older or who have a disability (which is discussed further in section 8.3 下方) are two positive Australian endeavours working to minimise these access restrictions. Earlier this year, the area of accessible E-Commerce was examined from a social and US legislative perspective in an excellent paper by Cynthia Waddell titled ‗The Growing Digital

    Divide in Access for People with Disabilities: Overcoming Barriers to Participation' which is

    online at http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/waddell.htm

    In that paper Cynthia Waddell makes the following two statements, which fully apply to the Australian situation:

    ―Unless the civil rights of America‘s 54 Million people with

    disabilities are addressed during this period of rapid

    technological development, the community will be locked out

    from participation on the basis of disability and the technological

    world will not be enriched by their diverse contributions. …

    Because the benefits for overcoming these barriers extend

    beyond the community of people with disabilities, there are

    practical and significant business reasons for addressing this

    issue. Rather than creating a growing digital divide, emerging

    technology can enable full participation in the digital economy

    for everyone, regardless of age, disability or the limitations of

    the technology available.‖

    ―Whether the digital barrier is the inaccessible design of

    Internet/intranet websites, Internet service provider ―portals‖,

    incompatible browsers, or inaccessible web-based platforms for

    online business, the trend is growing and must be addressed at

    the infancy of the digital economy. Already, exciting electronic

    and information technology features are emerging in the areas

    of information appliances, real-time conference participation,

    audiostreaming telephone voice browsers, search engines,

    news groups, chat rooms and 3D imaging. Unless functionality

    solutions for accessibility are addressed today, the state of the

    digital divide tomorrow may be impossible to overcome.‖

    The recently released Issues paper prepared by David Mason of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission titled ‗Issues Paper: Accessibility of electronic commerce and other new service delivery technologies for older Australians and people with a disability‘ online at

    www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/current_inquiries/ecom/ecommerce_issues_paper.htm is another excellent reference on the state of Accessibility of E-Commerce in Australia. That report strongly complements the content of this paper. Information about The HREOC E-

    Commerce Reference that issues paper was prepared for can be found at

    http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/current_inquiries/ecom/ecom.html

     2

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    A variety of other initiatives are described throughout this report, which are all working to increase accessibility of information, services and technologies.

    1.2 Project Background

    During 1999, with funding from the Commonwealth Government‘s ‗AccessAbility Grants Program‘, Blind Citizens Australia has been investigating the impacts of Electronic Commerce on people with disabilities in Australia, and in particular people who are blind or vision impaired. This work has lead to this issues paper.

    AccessAbility is a grants program administered by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, initiated in 1997, pursuant to the Investing for Growth statement and aimed at making online services more accessible for people with disabilities. In 1998, $1.5 million was provided for projects covering a range of disability groups. A second and final round of funding for this Grants program was held in 1999, and the outcomes are expected to be announced during November 1999.

    This Accessible E-Commerce project has the following aims:

    ; To investigate the positive and negative impacts of E-Commerce on people with

    disabilities;

    ; To produce two discussion papers which explain the field and provide information

    about the current state-of-play in Australia and abroad;

    ; To conduct one or more ‗Accessible E-Commerce‘ seminars for stake-holders

    including people with disabilities, people working in the disability field, Government

    and those working in the E-Commerce industry; and

    ; To develop recommendations for further research required in the field, in order to

    maximise the accessibility of future and developing online Australian E-Commerce

    services and products.

    During the progress of the research, it has become evident that the most vital requirements for positive change will involve the activities listed below. Funding is being sought to further pursue these important areas of work during the year 2000.

    ; Educate and raise awareness within the E-Commerce industry of - A. the need for

    accessible design and B. practical and achievable approaches which can lead to

    accessible E-Commerce products and services. In particular, online and self service

    banking, internet-based grocery shopping, and accessibility of Government services

    were identified as priority areas;

    ; Inform Government about the barriers being presented by E-Commerce, and

    influence future policy and priorities to maximise the accessibility of Government and

    non-Government E-Commerce facilities;

    ; Educate and inform people with disabilities, as well as people working in the disability

    industry about the possible barriers being created by E-Commerce developments, so

    that both these groups can bring pressure to bear on developers and policy-makers.

    ; Become involved in national and international E-Commerce-related standards efforts

    to both educate, and to influence E-Commerce efforts;

    ; Prepare a list of recommendations for Government and Industry which will lead to

    practices and activities that will maximise the accessibility of current and future E-

    Commerce services and facilities.

     3

    ACCESSIBLE E-COMMERCE A DISCUSSION PAPER

    Publication by this ‗Accessible E-Commerce‘ project of discussion papers (such as this one)

    is a strong first step towards achieving some of these goals. This project is also providing substantial input to HREOC‘s recently announced inquiry into E-Commerce accessibility for

    people who are older and who have a disability.

    Blind Citizens Australia is actively seeking partnerships and strategic alliances to further these goals. If you are interested in working with Blind Citizens Australia to improve the accessibility of E-Commerce facilities, please contact the author at

    tnoonan@softspeak.com.au

    1.3 What is the Problem?

    New technology has often been described as a double-edged sword on one edge, having

    the potential to give incredible independence and participation on all levels but on the

    other also having the potential to further deny access, close doors, and severely isolate people with disabilities from full participation in education, employment, recreation and social interaction.

    But the problem isn't really with the technology per se; for it is just a malleable tool which can be used to create the myriad equipment and services that are desired. More specifically the problem is

    ; with the individuals, corporations and governments who develop and commission

    new technologies;

    ; with the almost exclusively visual-centric design metaphors being increasingly

    proposed and adopted in software development;

    ; with the quite artificial notion of the stereotypical end user of technology i.e. a person

    with five fully-functioning senses, four functioning limbs, functional speaking anatomy,

    an average or above average IQ score, and of course the education and finances

    with which to access and use the hardware and software which has been custom-

    designed - primarily for them.

    In short, it can be argued that the problem is a problem of awareness in the wider community of the needs and wide-ranging requirements of people with a range of disabilities, both here and abroad. The problem is (in Dr. John Gill's words) "The Forgotten Millions".

    The solution is often termed Universal Design. This is based on the architectural principles now employed to make buildings accessible to the widest possible range of people. This design philosophy endeavours to design software and equipment in such a way that it can be used by a wide range of users with different skills, abilities and handicaps. For example, equipment and software supporting universal design could use both visual and audio means for presenting information. It would be physically configured so people with limited reach could access the keyboard, it might also have a simplified user interface for people unfamiliar with computers or for people with a learning or an intellectual disability. Technologies incorporating these concepts will be demonstrated widely throughout this report.

    Universal design has been defined by the Center for Universal Design as

     4

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com