Towards Accessible News Reading Design in Virtual Reality for Low Vision


  • Wu Hui-Yin
  • Calabrèse Aurélie
  • Kornprobst Pierre


  • Accessible interfaces
  • Multimedia reading
  • Low vision
  • Virtual reality

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Low-vision conditions resulting in partial loss of the central visual field strongly affect patients' daily tasks and routines, and none more prominently than the ability to access text. Though vision aids such as magnifiers, digital screens, and text-to-speech devices can improve overall accessibility to text, news media, which is non-linear and has complex and volatile formatting, is still inaccessible, barring low-vision patients from easy access to essential news content. This position paper proposes virtual reality as a promising solution towards accessible and enjoyable news reading for low vision. We first provide an extensive review into existing research on low-vision reading technologies and visual accessibility solutions for modern news media. From previous research and studies, we then conduct an analysis into the advantages of virtual reality for low-vision reading and propose comprehensive guidelines for visual accessibility design in virtual reality, with a focus on reading. This is coupled with a hands-on survey of eight reading applications in virtual reality to evaluate how accessibility design is currently implemented in existing products. Finally, we present an open toolbox using browser-based graphics (WebGL) that implements the design principles from our study. A proof-of-concept is created using this toolbox to demonstrate the feasibility of our proposal with modern virtual reality technology.

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