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Conference presentation
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English

Accessibility Asymmetries in Web Localisation

Presented at7th International IATIS Conference, Barcelona (Spain), 14-17 September
Publication date2021
Abstract

Translation inevitably leads to increased access to information for all, particularly when it is made available on the Web. While this might bring up concerns related to digital sustainability, we contend that the potential uncontrolled expansion of localised web content nowadays can be challenged from the perspective of web accessibility ̶ understood as the availability of information and services online that can be perceived, operated and understood by individuals with a diverse range of sight, hearing, cognitive and moving abilities. When looking at information accessibility as opportunity, we are both (i) supporting all forms of intralingual and intersemiotic translation – e.g. captions for media content, text alternatives for visual content, Easy-to-Read versions of standard texts, and (ii) encouraging fully localised websites in contexts where the information and services offered therein are expected to be used by multilingual, multicultural or international communities. Taking the case of multilingual health websites, an investigation was conducted to examine whether accessibility asymmetries exist across different language versions. Prior work on other web genres, including corporate and culture websites, has concluded that localised versions are usually less accessible than their corresponding source. In our study, a sample of official localised health websites were evaluated for accessibility compliance, according to a set of success criteria from the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The discussion of our findings will revolve around the need for localisers to find the appropriate balance between ecological awareness, the inherent limitations of web and translation technologies, and the understanding of end user needs.

Keywords
  • Web Accessibility
  • Web Localisation
  • Accessibility Asymmetries
  • WCAG
  • Health websites
Citation (ISO format)
MORADO VAZQUEZ, Lucia, RODRIGUEZ VAZQUEZ, Silvia. Accessibility Asymmetries in Web Localisation. In: 7th International IATIS Conference. Barcelona (Spain). 2021.
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  • PID : unige:155069
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