Accessible software development: a conceptual model proposal

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Ramiro Gonçalves
José Luís Martins
Au Yong Oliveira,M
Sousa e Silva,JSE
Frederico Branco
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Equal access to all software and digital content should be a reality in the Digital Era. This argument is something defended both by existing regulations, norms and standards, and also business organizations and governments. Despite this acknowledgement, the reality is still far from the desired equality. For certain groups of disabled or impaired citizens, such as the visually impaired, the existence of e-accessibility compliance represents an opportunity to integrate, in a more simple and straightforward manner, their societies. Despite the existing poor results on e-accessibility compliance, the mentioned citizens insist on using digital devices in their daily lives. Even though, in the last decade, multiple standards and regulations have been published towards indicating how to develop accessible digital user interfaces, there are still two major issues surrounding its implementation: the complexity and disparity of the documents containing the abovementioned norms, and also the lack of e-accessibility know-how by software experts. With this in mind, a proposal for an accessible software development model that encompasses e-accessibility incorporation as one of the development process activities has been presented. This model might represent a very interesting support tool for software development organizations and a novel resource for learning and training institutions to be able to improve their computer science and informatics students' skills on e-accessibility.