Here's a sample situation, so you can see the objective of the project:
A blind user uses a screen reader software e.g. JAWS For windows.
When I need to go to Google to search for content, I use IE 8, or Firefox, or Google Chrome.
When I search for something in Google, the results are provided by Google based on relevance, timeliness and popularity for other users.
It is not based on the accessibility of the page.
Therefore, I waste a lot of time going to one result after the other, trying to find a page that would be most accessible to my screen reader software, so I can get the most relevant, timely and popular content that I want at the quickest and easiest way possible.
The plugin will do this for me.
When I do a search in Google using IE 8, or Google Chrome, or Firefox, the plugin will:
[url removed, login to view] each page result provided by Google in terms of the accessibility grade of the page result, based on the a grading system using the 16 section 508 guidelines that I mentioned.
[url removed, login to view] an accessibility grade of "Low", "Average", "Good" or "Excellent" to each page result after the plugin's done with its analysis;
3. Display the search results with the accessibility grade of each result; and
4. For the user, through a keystroke or something, to optionally arrange the top 50 (or so) search results provided by Google based on accessibility grades.
I believe a feature for the user to optionally provide his own grade for the result, after going to the page, will be good to store in the database as user-based ratings, which would be kept separate from the automatic grading system of the plugin.
It should work with IE 8 and later, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
What the plugin will do is to rate the accessibility (for screen reader users) of pages listed by Google as search results for the keyword queries of the user.
These accessibility ratings will be based on the 16 site accessibility guidelines proposed by laws of the US and UK governments.
So, the user installs the plugin version for IE 8. Then, the user goes to Google using IE 8. The user does a keyword search. The plugin will examine each search result provided by Google for the user's search, rate the accessibility of each page, display the Google searches and place the accessibility ratings of each page below each result.
These 16 accessibility guidelines include the placement of appropriate alt text for images, buttons and other visual elements, non-refreshing pages, etc.
Also factor in a function of the plugin where the user, upon going to a result provided by Google, can rate the accessibility of the page as a user accessibility rating (different from the accessibility rating given by the plugin).
You can read those site accessibility guidelines to conceptualize a system that will be used by the plugin to rate the pages provided by Google for the user's keyword searches.
Here's the 16 section 508 guidelines for site accessibility: [url removed, login to view]
We shouldn't confuse these section 508 guidelines with the older and much stricter W3C site accessibility guidelines.
The Web browser plugin's automatic accessibility rating/grading system should be based on those 16 section 508 site accessibility guidelines.