First Genuine Symbol Web Browser

First Genuine Symbol Web Browser

Widget Software are to release a symbol web browser called Communicate: Webwise. The new web browser allows surfers to view pages as they were intended by the content developer, as plain text, or as symbols to help people with learning difficulties browse the web. The system is able to process most pages, apart from pages that contain embedded objects such as Java or Flash. The browser will go on sale later this year, and is expected to cost around 70. The browser uses the Rebus Symbols system to display web pages as symbols. Rebus Symbols were developed as part of the Peabody Rebus Reading Programme in the USA in the 1960’s. The symbols are used in conjunction with words on the web page to provide support for visitors with moderate or severe learning difficulties. The system will work best with sites that display short sentences on a single line, as most punctuation marks are not displayed on the graphics line making it difficult to determine where one sentence starts and another begins. Like most websites that advocate accessibility, Widget Software’s website is far from accessible, not even achieving WCAG 1.0 Level “A”. It would be interesting to see how their system will make sense of the images on their web page that displays the different views of the browser, without so much as providing alternative text for images.