This is an unpublished draft preview that might include content that is not yet approved. The published website is at

Marta, marketing assistant who is deaf and blind in Stories of Web Users, How People with Disabilities Use the Web

Note: This user story is an example of a person with this type of disability. Other people with this disability may have different experiences.

About Marta

I love watching videos and when they have captions that I can make large, I can then follow the dialogue.

Marta is a marketing assistant who was born profoundly deaf. She communicates using sign language and attended a school for the deaf. Recently Marta learned she has a degenerative condition that results in progressive vision loss. This will impact her communication since her cultural language is visual. Marta’s deteriorating eyesight means that she can only see portions of her computer screen and relies heavily on zoom functions.

Marta has always been interested in clothes and her decreasing vision only fueled her passion more for vibrant colors, exaggerated shapes, and distinctive textures. She has started taking classes in fashion design at her local college and is excited to learn the history of fashion. Marta has always relied on captioning or speech-to-text applications when communicating with her hearing peers and her local community. She knows she has to connect with the disability office to request a sign interpreter. However, she is unsure about what additional resources she may now need due to her recent diagnosis. She is hoping to discuss how much of the course material is presented with captions and transcripts.

Marta is currently learning braille and is being exposed to using a braille display to access her current technology. She was excited to learn that the braille display includes calendar, e-mail, web browsing, and note-taking features so she can have an all-in-one device. This will reduce the number of devices Marta will have to travel with so she can navigate the campus safely. She wants to be able to independently navigate the college platforms to access course materials, communicate with her professors and submit assignments without having to rely on someone else if she can’t visually access the information. She has had mixed success so far with the display. In one case she couldn’t submit a form as the button wasn’t coded correctly and not recognised by the device.

Socially, Marta loves being out and about with her friends. She will not be able to drive so will need to rely on public transportation. This is not new to her since she lives in an urban area. However, she knows there are always last minute changes to platforms and times. She is worried about being alerted to this information. She is already experiencing difficulty reading times, plus the website is not mobile optimized and doesn’t work well when zoomed. She is interested in customizing her devices so she can utilize tactile features for notifications and alerts for all aspects of her life. Marta is eager to learn about the accessible technology that is available so she can continue her path to becoming a successful fashion designer.

Barrier examples

Consistent layout
Problem: “Some shopping sites I visit have completely different styles for different sections. It takes me a while to work out where everything is in each section which is really frustrating.”
Works well: “The shopping website I use has the same layout on all of it’s sections which makes it easy to work my way around pages.”
No transcript
Problem: “Some videos only have embedded captions which I can’t access easily.”
Works well: “Having a transcript is a big help. It is much easier for me to read with my Braille device.”
Inaccessible CAPTCHA
Problem: “If a site has a CAPTCHA that uses images or audio then I just can’t use it - it can take me ages to work out the image and I can’t hear the audio alternative.”
Works well: “No CAPTCHA is best but sometimes there are simple things that ask a really easy question.”
Keyboard navigation
Problem: “A date picker that pops up when I tab to a date entry field but I can’t use the date picker as it doesn’t work with the keyboard.”
Works well: “I can tab through dates in a date picker using my keyboard or I can just enter the date without the date picker.”
Changes elsewhere on a page
Problem: “I needed to add my previous address into an application form, but nothing happened when I pressed the ‘Add new address’ button. I don’t know where the new address fields might have been added to the page.”
Works well: “When I press the ‘Add new address’ button, I am taken to the form fields that have just been added above the button.”

Assistive technologies and adaptive strategies used

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This is an unpublished draft preview that might include content that is not yet approved. The published website is at