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Web sites for the language-impaired

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1 Author(s)
M. Durham ; Sch. of Commun. & Media, Univ. of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia

A Web site depends on more than its ability to attract. Crucial to its success is understanding what Web site users need and want, and consequently choosing appropriate content, structure, and navigational support. In creating Web based information, professional communicators are able to incorporate the kinds of textual and structural support for readers that is impossible to achieve in hardcopy. This reader-centered approach is familiar to technical communicators, but what about readers who have special needs? The question is important for organizations to consider as they move increasingly to online information for the public. The article describes problems that language-impaired users may face in getting information from the Internet. They focus on language disorders resulting from Alzheimer's disease and brain damage (e.g., a stroke). The article highlights the mental and language skills that are involved in using the Internet

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 3 )